You are here

Laptop Security Guidelines

Review Date/Issuing Authority

Create Date: November 14, 2007
Review Date: July 28, 2016
Issuing Authority: Chief Information Security Officer


The purpose of these guidelines is to establish best practices for users who are required to use a Temple University owned laptop to conduct University business. It is the user’s responsibility to take appropriate precautions to prevent loss, theft, and/or damage to their laptop and information stored on their laptop. The following guidelines should be followed by all laptop users.

Laptop Configuration and Use

  • Select a strong password for all user accounts. 
  • Configure your screen saver to be password protected and to activate in 25 minutes or less.
  • Configure your Power Options to prompt for password when computer resumes from standby.
  • Do not store confidential information on your laptop's hard drive (or on removable media including flash drives) without the approval of the Chief Information Security Officer (see note below). This includes but is not limited to, proprietary business information relating to Temple University and personal confidential information related to other employees, students, applicants, retirees, alumni and social security numbers. Note: If you store sensitive information on your laptop that could cause financial or reputational damage to the University if the laptop is lost or stolen, please contact the Help Desk and request a consultation with the Office of Information Security. The Office of Information Security has laptop encryption software that can be ordered for your laptop to protect your data in the event of loss or theft.
  • Request installation of Temple’s Symantec Endpoint Protection software by using the Request Help tab on the Information Technology Services home page.
  • Use Temple's website when remotely accessing Temple University systems. To learn how, see the instruction page.
    Note: If you connect to Temple's TUsecurewireless network from on-campus, you do not need to use VPN software.

Wireless Network Usage

  • Only connect to trusted and secure wireless networks.
  • Disable file sharing.
  • Never connect to an ad hoc network unless you have verified it is safe. Free wireless networks (Free Wi-Fi) are appearing in public places to include airports. Many of these free access points are untrusted ad hoc networks that are set up to trap you and steal your information.

To identify an ad hoc wireless network with Widows Vista: Prior to selecting a wireless network review the network icon next to it on the “Connect to a Network” screen. An ad hoc wireless network will have an icon with several computers.

Physical Security

  • Do not leave your laptop unattended unless it is physically secure. 
  • Secure your laptop when you are not in your office. Lock your door and/or secure your laptop to the desk with a laptop cable.
  • If you take your laptop home, be sure to keep it in a secure location.
  • Do not leave your laptop in your car. 


  • Verify you have your laptop, laptop case, including all contents, before leaving the plane, taxi or train.
  • Keep your laptop in sight when going through airport security checkpoints.
  • If you plan to connect to an Airport or Hotel wireless network please review “Wireless Network Usage” above.
  • When you stay in a hotel, lock your laptop in your room safe if available.
  • Do not leave your laptop in your rental car. 

If your laptop is lost or stolen, contact the Help Desk at 215-204-8000 immediately.