Information Security
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Security Incidents
University Laptop or Mobile Device Stolen?

If your University laptop or mobile device is stolen, immediately:

  • Change your passwords. Include your NetID password and any other account passwords
  • Contact your local IT support. IT will work with you to assess the risk to personal and institutional data stored on the machine and work with you to purchase a new device.

You will also need to file several reports within the first 48 hours that the device is missing.

File a police report with the University and local police stations:

  • University Police: x456 or 847-491-3254 
  • Evanston Police:  847-666-5000
  • Chicago Police: 311 

And report the loss to Leland Roth, Assistant Director of Risk Management, at 847-491-4334 or l-roth@northwestern.edu. Within 30 days, you will also need to file a claim with University Risk Management for University Property Losses and include the Police Report Number, copies of original invoices and/or purchase orders for both the original property that was lost and for the replacement property.

If you have the Qualys agent installed on your laptop, McCormick IT can determine the last time and location the device checked in to be scanned for vulnerabilities.

You can typically track your mobile device in the event it was lost or stolen. If you have an iPhone (or most other Apple devices) you can track them through their GPS location using Apple's Find My iPhone. If you're on an Android device, you can track your phone through the Android Device Manager. These services will allow you to get an exact location, lock your device, and even wipe your device clean. This information can be helpful to the police.

We do not recommend you confront a thief yourself.