Valued anywhere between $500 and $3000, laptops are the most valuable things we carry around with us. That’s why it’s also one of the most dreaded items to lose. According to a study performed by MacTech, over a million computers were stolen each year in the United States alone, and majority of those were laptops.

It’s okay to get paranoid about the possibility of your laptop getting stolen, especially if you’re in a public place where strangers can see it in plain view. As long as you follow these simple tips, you can be confident that your laptop is fully protected against those lurking thieves.

Narrow the Chances


Prevention is the best remedy. Leaving your laptop out in the open while you go do something else is obviously not good. Most thieves will see this as a wonderful opportunity to slip in and grab the device. It eliminates the chance of confrontation which could damage the merchandise and possibly injure the thief. When you’re on a terrace having a drink while browsing through your laptop, and you suddenly feel the need to relieve yourself in the bathroom, take the laptop with you.

Besides keeping your laptop on your person at all times, you should definitely also make sure that you’re using it in an area that is neither too crowded nor too depopulated. Fewer people means fewer possible witnesses. The same, paradoxically, can happen in very crowded places. All the commotion and noise deafens people to their surroundings, making them less apt to notice that someone is stealing a laptop.

Lock It


If you happen to be one of the many unfortunate victims of theft, it helps to have some way to block the laptop from being usable. Some laptops may have a hardware-based mechanism that prevents them from being used without some form of authentication (like a key). But if you’re not lucky enough to have one of those, you’ll need to use software-based methods (like having a password for every account on your operating system and eliminating guest accounts for Windows).

The good part about using Linux in this situation is that passwords are mandatory from the get-go. If you’re a Windows user and don’t use passwords to log into your OS, you’re going to have to get used to it!

Track It


You should have ways to track your laptop, not just because it might get stolen, but also because it can be equally useful when you lose it. For loss recovery, you could use privacy-friendly tagging services like BoomerangIt or ReturnMe. For tracking, you could use Prey, which works on a variety of operating systems and platforms. Just be aware that remote wiping should be done as a last resort measure, although you should take into account the possibility of data theft if you have a lot of sensitive material such as credit card numbers and bank account details. You should always have a backup of your sensitive data somewhere safe. Laptops are not necessarily the best candidates for that.

Combine all three of these, and the likelihood that you will suffer from theft will drop enormously. Remember, theft prevention is all about contingency. Even if you try everything to stop it, there’s still a chance it will happen. By that point, it is good to have an execution plan when things go sour.


This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Thursday, August 24, 2017 at 6:17:42 AM and is filed under Computer Security & Data Protection.

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