Putting Stickers On Your Computer

Putting Stickers on Your Computers

So I just created GovLoop stickers for your laptop. I’ve noticed it’s really common elsewhere but I haven’t seen it in government.

And honestly it’s probably not allowed.

Most government-issued or corporate-issued is treated like their property and you have no control. Everything is locked down and no personalization is allowed.

Basically you aren’t trusted.

I think we need to change that.

People can decorate their cubicles. And I think for new knowledge workers their cubicle is basically their laptop and cell-phone.

If people have to use their work laptop and cell-phone for 80% of their day for years…let them customize it. Put their favorite app, their daughter as screen saver, a sticker on the phone.

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Andrew Nicklin

First, equipment is frequently re-circulated and re-used. A secondary or tertiary user is not going to be happy with stickers and labels; most people want their equipment to be “new enough”, if not fresh out of the box.

Second, it’s sometimes true that little personalization is allowed, but it’s based upon a large amount of risk-aversion developed by repeatedly getting burned. People install spyware (often unknowingly, for sure) on their machines or expose them to worms on foreign networks. It opens up the risk for secure data on a government network, or even that specific machine, to be exposed. Look at all the cybersecurity breaches which have happened in the past few years, and the quantity is increasing.


Anyone who wants a sticker – email me at [email protected]

Andrew – good point. However, my theory is that the shelf life on equipment is getting shorter and shorter. So re-circulation will decrease. And equipment will become like a cubicle or renting an apartment – decorate and make it feel like home. Because you spend so much time with it (blackberries and laptop). Just try to bring it back to how it was on day one.

I’ll be intriguing if new security tools come along that help solve these problems. For example, like tools that prevent spam for email. I met a guy whose company basically provided security through the browser. So anyone can go to any site without any company worry for malware, etc and the browser protects it. Not sure if perfect but imagine there will be more innovative options that allow people to use social web as they want but also help protect corporate and govt assets.

Sonny Hashmi

At the risk of being flogged, I will admit that I am not a fan of stickers on laptops just as I am not a fan of bumper stickers on cars. Call me a minimalist/purist.

However, I would love to get a Govloop sticker for my office bulletin board 🙂 Please?

Andrew Nicklin

Those great points. I look forward to that future! I think it likely that there will be a convergence between organization-issued equipment and the use of personal equipment for business purposes. Not because, say, the government would be unwilling to issue equipment, but because it’ll be ubiquitous personal property already, and we won’t want to carry multiple devices. When the iPhone came out, I was excited that I could merge from 3-to-1: phone, music, and e-mail all-in-one! Now I’m carrying a blackberry also, but it’s not a technological issue; rather, it’s one of policy.

There is also the consideration of presentation/professionalism/representation. I’ve no doubt the GovLoop sticker would be innocuous. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I couldn’t show up at a senior staff meeting with a laptop covered in heavy metal band stickers! Unfortunately, we have yet to get to the day when people are judged solely on what they do, and not at all how they appear.


Good point about the convergence. It will be interesting to see how that evolves. For example, most small businesses just let employees use personal smart phones and they reimburse them a certain amount per month. And they just pull in their email via Exchange (or whatever). Because really know one needs two phones any more – work, personal. Line is blurring so will be interesting to see how people and companies adopt…

Justin Grimes

I’m very pro sticker and button. I think you could do a variety of sizes from bumper stickers to smaller sized notebook stickers. Let me know when they are available because I have a sticker hole that only a GovLoop sticker can fill.

Sara Cope

What about vinyl clings? I didn’t put my Govloop sticker on my laptop but that’s only because I don’t want to scrape it off when it’s turn-in time.

Jaimey Walking Bear

Our IT guys are generally OK with stickers on our laptops as long as they’re the vinyl kind. The paper ones with subpar glue are too much work to remove.

Emailing you now re: a GovLoop sticker. Definitely want one for mine!

Dov Jacobson

Steve Ressler–

How about a photo gallery of stickerred-up laptops?
Maybe even a prize for the Most Stickered and for People’s Choice ?

Rhonda Kay Collier

As an LMS/Contracting Officer for the FAA, I don’t rate a laptop; BUT that didn’t stop me from personalizing my work desktop with background pics, a photo screen saver highlighting my family and friends, and lots of MP3’s playing on Windows Media Player (standard software)!

Michael Kenneth Veh

What about laptop skins? Bigger than stickers and they actually protect the surface from scratching which means that it helps retain value. Plus, they come off fairly easily. On another note, how do I get a GovLoop sticker?

Susan Hess

I love the whole idea of individualism. However, I’m not sure their squashing of your individuality is targeted toward you 🙂 I think the outside the circle of trust is who they are worrying about.
A gov sticker when traveling is kind of like a giant sign saying: steal me please (I just might have some cool stuff on here, we all know its just spreadsheets LOL)! LBlackberries( even with your CAC bluetooth reader which is being rolled out) the lanyard around your neck with a big cac reader is just screaming at a bad guy: “Take me, I’m important!”…It makes me a little nervous. Last year a certain un named official had his blackberry and laptop disapear while at a conference in China…. hope he had the entire laptop in a lock down encryption state with 5 password tries, fail initiate a low level wipe…Im just sayin….Now personally, I sticker my private laptop and love watching the TSA eyes as it goes through the scanner or faces at Starbucks… 🙂 I love to look at there faces when they look at me, my computer and then the look comes of Huh? Just my two cents for whatever it’s worth.

Susan Hess

One last point to make (sorry to be a buzz kill on this topic): Then there will be agency standards, policy and proceedures that have to be written and it will end up being regulated in one way or the other. I’ve seen it happen on Wall Street….a guy/girl puts a sticker on his corporate computer that may be construed as offensive or insensitive to any number of people and BAM! The firm gets sued. Hence, a no sticker policy comes out because of the disgruntled person.

The company you work for is who you are representing with that laptop, cubicle, and property with those stickers.

For your own personal laptop, as you can see below: Sticker AWAY 🙂 I’d put a GOVLoop sticker on it gladly:-)


Awesome..Anyone who wants a sticker – email me address at [email protected]

Actually a good point Susan…Right now we have 3 versions “I’m Big on GovLoop” “Not Your Average Bureaucrat” and “Innovation is Alive”…I think most are unclear to the average user but may want to change phrase…

Andrea Baker

As you can see, I am a government contractor and my laptop is covered in stickers. In fact of all the geeks in this picture, I am the only one who has stickers.

Sarah Bourne

I think stickers on laptops make them look messy. My desk may be messy, my life may be messy, but I don’t like my computer being messy. Thinking that this was perhaps an old fogey thing, I asked my college student son about it, expecting the eye-roll and EVERYONE-does-it routine. But no, the opposite: he doesn’t know anybody that puts stickers on their laptops. So, anyway, I wouldn’t get too hung up on it if you’re not allowed to put stickers on your work laptop: you’ll have lots of company.

Claudia Boyles

When my dell laptop popped out of the airport scanner in its little airport plastic bin two days ago, I couldn’t tell it apart from the other two dell laptops in their little airport plastic bins. Fortunately, they came out in order (and there was no grabbing), but it made me think about individualising it for the sake of ‘the company’ – rather than in spite of the company.

Kathryn Hambleton

Yes! I tend to put my name stickers from conferences (if they aren’t the lanyard sort) or stickers I pick up at conferences on my laptop (yes, my government issued laptop). They are usually gov-friendly. No one has given me a hard time. It also helps that they are stickers- i.e. not permanent.