By Perry Solomon
Tablet deployment in K-12 classrooms is on a meteoric rise, and more educators are tapping into the benefits of mobile devices in education. Corporate America is catching on as well with a growing wireless workforce that uses tablets or other portable devices to conduct business. As the use of tablets in private and public sectors grows, so does the risk of theft and unauthorized access, an unfortunate reality faced by anyone in charge of deploying tablets in a classroom or workplace. If you’re considering purchasing tablets for large-scale deployment but are concerned about how to safely store iPads or other tablets, here are some commonsense measures you can take that can reduce the risk.
1. Avoid using typical filing or storage cabinets. Even metal storage cabinets with locking mechanisms are risky places to store iPads, other tablets or anything else of value. One person’s lock is another person’s access point, and there are dozens of videos on YouTube that show just how easy it is to pick the locks of filing and storage cabinets with a paper clip or nail clipper.
2. Keep tablets from being visible to the public. Don’t leave tablets out in the open when not in use. When tablets must be charged or synchronized, make sure the process is completed behind closed, locked doors. A stack of iPads is a tempting target for a thief who may patiently wait for you leave the room or become distracted. Also, don’t store iPads or other tablets in cages where they are visible to anyone passing by even if the cages are locked.
3. Invest in a secure tablet cabinet. Tablet cabinets are specially designed to make deployment easier, and some brands include added security features for higher risk environments. For example Aleratec’s Charge and Guard Secure Charge/Sync Cabinet 16 charges, syncs and stores up to 16 tablets inside an all-metal, heavy-duty lockable cabinet that includes padlock loops and a welded anchor loop to chain the unit to a secure structure.
4. Think stationary. A tablet trolley or cart is a convenient way of deploying tablets from room to room. The downside is that tablet carts also make it convenient for a thief to roll your tablets out the door. For higher risk environments, heavy-duty stationary cabinets are much harder to move, and if it includes an anchor loop, can be permanently chained to a physical structure such as a support beam or desk.
5. Establish clear storage procedures. Just because you follow tablet storage practices doesn’t mean a substitute teacher or assistant will know what to do. Make sure that anyone who temporarily inherits the task of tablet deployment knows your school’s or company’s procedures for safe storage and the consequences that may happen if the procedures are not followed.
Following a few safe storage practices for iPads or other tablets can go a long way in protecting your organization’s investment in tablets and other portable devices. For more information on Portable Device Management (PDM), check out Aleratec’s Portable Device Management Buyer’s Guide.