Laptop computers are a popular device for thieves to steal because they’re portable, usable and are worth a couple hundred dollars if they’re resold or pawned for cash.
Here are 5 tips to help you avoid having your laptop computer lost or stolen.
1. If you’re using your laptop computer in a library, restaurant, student hall, coffee shop or in other public places, never leave your computer unattended - even for a minute. It only takes a couple of seconds for someone to swipe your laptop while you’re getting a quick refill or going to the bathroom. Although it might seem a bit inconvenient to bring your laptop with you whenever you need to move, imagine the feeling you’d have when you return to find it missing.
2. If you must use your laptop at public places and don’t want to be burdened with packing up your laptop every time you need to move, use a laptop lock and security cable to deter thieves from trying to steal it. (Although I’d still refer to #1 and say “bring it with you” just to be on the safe side.)
3. Never leave your laptop computer in plain sight in a vehicle. If you leave your laptop in an unlocked car, stealing your device is easy. Even if the car is locked, a motivated thief probably wouldn’t think twice about smashing out a car window to get it. Carry your laptop with you or tuck it away in the trunk if bringing it with you isn’t convenient. The same can be said for leaving your laptop computer in plain sight at your home. If you’re leaving the house, be sure to shut your laptop computer off and put it away someplace safe where it can’t be easily found, like a closet or cabinet.
4. If you’re flying, always bring your laptop computer as “carry-on” luggage. Airports are a hotbed for laptop computer loss or theft due to the fast moving nature of the industry. Nearly 12,000 laptop computers are reported missing weekly at US airports alone, and 65% of them are never recovered. Travelers need to take extra care to assure that their laptop computer stays under their care at all times.
5. Use theft protection technology or laptop security software. Running laptop security software helps protect your laptop computer - and the sensitive information stored on it - safe in the event that your laptop computer goes missing. A reliable laptop security software solution should offer owners a remote way to lock their computer from being used, a warning screen upon startup, IP tracking, a device scream to alert and discourage use, a webcam picture of the person attempting to use the device, GPS and satellite pictures of the suspected location and encourages whoever has the device to return it to the original owner.
I hope that these five tips are helpful in keeping your costly investment of a laptop computer safe for a long, long time.