Yesterday there were two laptop thefts reported in Perkins-Bostock in the course of the morning. The police officer who responded walked around the building and noted that he could have taken three more laptops that he saw unattended. Please do not leave your laptop alone, even if you just plan to run to the Perk or to the stacks for 2 minutes!
Laptop thefts are a financial blow to students, but they often cause academic harm as well. Many students do not regularly back up their files, so the loss of a laptop can mean the loss of projects and papers you haven’t turned in yet.
Sometimes it feels like we’ve seen it all at the Reference Desk (there was the squirrel living in a trash can on Perkins 4 one spring), but we never get used to the heartbreak of seeing students who have lost significant work. I’d estimate that laptop theft is the number 2 cause of loss of student work; the number one cause we see is saving to the desktop of a public computer, then getting logged out (which wipes the desktop of all files). Take the time to back up your files, and keep your belongings with you. It’s worth it.
Written by Phoebe Acheson