Get STOP plates for your laptop and tablet: Here’s why and how
August 13, 2019
Robyn Fizz
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Picture of an Apple laptop getting a STOP tag affixed to its cover.
Image: Phil Johnson

Device tagging and registration is a service sponsored by MIT which is available to Institute community members at no cost. It’s offered by Information Systems & Technology (IS&T), with the support of the MIT Police.

A STOP plate on a lost laptop or tablet can help return it to its rightful owner. The plate also works as a visual deterrent for thieves looking to quickly resell equipment. The plates are difficult to remove because of the use of superglue, but if thieves are successful at removing it, a “tattoo” stating that it is stolen property is left behind.

STOP plates do not include a GPS tracking component.  

How it works

It’s simple. Bring your laptop or tablet to the IS&T Service Desk in the Atlas Service Center (Building E17) from 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday (excluding Institute holidays). When the STOP plate is affixed to your device, IS&T Service Desk staff take down the plate number and device details, including its serial number. IS&T uploads the information it collects to STOP’s database on a regular basis.

If you have five or more computers to be tagged, please contact the IS&T Service Desk to discuss available options.

Extra measures

While IS&T and the MIT Police highly recommend STOP tags, they aren’t 100% foolproof. So it’s essential that you regularly back up the files on your devices. If you haven’t done this, find a friend in CrashPlan, a cloud-based backup solution that IS&T recommends and offers to community members at no cost.

Going away and taking your laptop with you? Take precautions before you leave and while traveling.

If your laptop, tablet, or phone does get lost or stolen, report it, remotely wipe or track it, and change your passwords. Here’s a handy guide that tells you how.

Let’s end, though, on a positive note. The STOP site has a page of recovery stories and testimonials. Let them inspire you to get your devices tagged ASAP.