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Lost & Stolen Devices

With your help, TMU can minimize online threats.

When your computer, tablet, phone or flash drive is lost or stolen, any sensitive data and pre-saved (cached) passwords on the device can be exposed. These passwords could be used to access personal information including email and bank accounts.

Learn how you can protect your personal information before anything happens and increase the chances of your device being returned to you.

Four ways to lock down your device

Set yourself up for a better outcome by doing the following in advance, just in case your equipment goes missing:

Using your TMU Google Drive account to organize your Google Docs, Sheets and Slides means that you don’t have to store anything on your hard drive. If you’re using a Windows computer, you can install a plugin for Microsoft Office (external link)  that allows you to work on Word, Excel and PowerPoint slides and save them directly to your Google Drive.

It only takes a few moments and it’s the most effective way to protect yourself from data loss. Most mobile devices and laptop operating systems have free built-in features to do this. Find instructions to:

While we recommend using Google Drive to store your files for easy recovery, Microsoft Office does offer encryption features for individual files. And, if you must use portable devices like USB keys, purchase devices that support strong encryption.

Storing device information such as the make, model, serial number and Wi-Fi MAC address in a separate location so that recovered devices can be matched to you.

Mobile device manufacturers and carriers often have locating, blocking and remote wiping services available. It's a good idea to install these apps in the event your device goes missing. Some phones offering these services include the Microsoft Windows Phone (external link) , Apple iPhone (external link) , Google Android (external link)  and RIM BlackBerry (external link) .

Guard your privacy

If your device is lost or stolen, we strongly recommend changing your passwords to online services such as banking, email and social media if you use them on your mobile device. This could prevent your accounts from being compromised if someone attempts to access them from your device.

Tell those who can help

Who to tell What will happen
Campus Security                                                                        

Lost or stolen devices should be reported to Campus Security, who will open a record noting the location, time and appearance of the missing device. They're available 24 hours a day and may offer resources or assist in locating or recovering the device.

Note that Campus Security will also discuss whether the loss or theft potentially poses privacy risks to the university.

Contact Community Safety and Security

TMU Privacy Office

For TMU faculty and staff, lost or stolen devices and storage media containing personal information must be reported to the Privacy Office at

The Privacy Office will investigate, advise and evaluate regarding privacy risks to:

  • Affected individuals;
  • The department reporting the breach; and
  • The university.

The Privacy Office will assist the university in maintaining compliance with TMU’s privacy policy and with privacy laws.

Employees can learn about their privacy-protection responsibilities, including breach notification, in TMU's Access to Information and Protection of Privacy eLearning modules. More on the modules can be found on the Required eLearning page.

Local law enforcement

Loss or theft should also be reported to your local law enforcement agency as a police record could assist in relating a recovered device to you.

Your mobile carrier

Mobile phone carriers regularly deal with issues of loss and theft, and may be able to track if anyone has used your device after it was reported lost or stolen. They may also block the device if they can't assist with returning the device to you.