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Data Storage Device Lost & Found FAQ

The Campus Public Safety Office (CPSO) no longer accepts lost and found items valued under $50 unless defined as Crucial Items. CPSO’s Lost & Found policy specifies that personal data storage devices, such as flash drives, are not accepted by, tracked by, or returned through their office. For more information about CPSO's Lost & Found Policy, visit the Lost & Found webpage.

OIT labs provide a basic lost and found service specifically for data storage devices. We will make a best-effort to identify the owner of the device and contact them via their PSU email to retrieve the device. Any data storage device not retrieved within 2 weeks will be securely erased and disposed of.

What is a data storage device?

  • Flash drive (USB thumb drive, memory stick)
  • External hard drive
  • Floppy or zip disk
  • Memory card (of any type: CF, SD, SDXC, etc.)

What should I do if I lose my data storage device?

  1. Go to where you last saw or used your device.
    • OIT labs have an attendant available during open hours.
  2. Visit adjacent department offices or labs near where you lost the device.
    • Many departments and building management teams maintain their own lost and found repositories.
    • If you left the device in a classroom, items may have been turned in to various locations: an adjacent department, the closest lab, or simply left or near the podiums in the classrooms.
  3. Look to see if the building has a central information desk, or building-specific lost and found location (e.g. PSU Information Desk in SMSU, Millar Library circulation desk).

What does OIT do with personal data storage devices?

If the device is left in an OIT operated lab:

OIT will make a reasonable effort to return the devices to the original owner via their PSU email account. When you come to pick up the device, you must show photo ID and will be asked to describe your device and/or files to verify you are the owner. Once positively identified, your device will be returned. After 2 weeks, the device will be securely erased to protect the privacy and integrity of data prior to disposition.

If the device is turned into the Helpdesk:

Any devices turned in to the Helpdesk will be securely wiped to protect confidential information and subsequently disposed of.