UMass Boston

Laptop Theft Recovery

All university-owned laptops are required to have IT install Absolute LoJack, an anti-theft device specially made for mobile computers. The coverage cost to be paid by the department is $65 per laptop, covering the machine for three (3) years.

How does Absolute LoJack work?

Absolute LoJack (made by Absolute) allows organizations likes UMass Boston to track and secure the laptop in the event it is reported stolen or lost. Computers and ultra-portable devices can be remotely managed and secured.

What should I do if my laptop is lost or stolen?

If your laptop is lost or stolen, please immediately file a report with the local police where the incident occurred. You will also need to file a police report with UMass Boston’s Public Safety Department regardless of where it was lost or stolen as it is a university-owned laptop. Please also provide IT with the police report number as it is needed to file a theft report with Absolute. Once the laptop has been flagged as “stolen," Absolute will work with the police to retrieve the device.

While the role of the police is to retrieve the laptop, IT’s role is to protect the data stored on the laptop and prevent it from being compromised to unauthorized personnel. The following options are possible without filing a police report and can be executed remotely by IT as long as the computer goes online:

  • Retrieve files from the lost or stolen computer
  • Destroy the data stored on the computer or the operating system of the computer (if needed) to prevent any data theft
  • Freeze the computer, making it unusable until the proper passcode is manually entered into the keyboard or remotely by the IT administrator via the web console.

Once IT issues a command to “freeze” the device, or wipe the data (including the operating system), it significantly reduces the possibility for the police to retrieve the device.

IT will need notification of the machine’s status as lost or stolen prior to data retrieval attempts  For expedited retrieval attempts, please provide IT with the make, model, and Service Tag number of the laptop at the time of request for the above services.

The decision of which course of action to follow often depends on whether or not the laptop has personally identifiable information (PII) stored on the hard drive. If your laptop has PII, please view our data encryption site for details on preventative security measures.

Please send further inquiries to

Information Technology Services
Healey Library, 3rd Floor