Laptops are rapidly replacing desktop computers as the device of choice for people’s computing needs. As more and more office work is being conducted out of the office, being able to take your PC with you is a great advantage in terms of convenience and efficiency. Using a laptop has a lot of benefits for people, especially when you are constantly on the move, you need to have a portable computer with you, so you can do your job while traveling. Because of these great benefits that you get from using a laptop, a lot of people have dumped their desktop computer and replaced them with a laptop. Little did they know that there are a lot of things that can cause some additional problems if they use portable computers. 

That is, until it gets stolen.

One of those problems is that these laptops can be easily stolen from their owners and all of the data and information that is on the hard drive of that laptop can be accessed to. A lot of laptop users never think about the possibility of their laptop being stolen, that is until it happens to them and in that case, it is too late to do anything. 

carrying laptop

Hardly a week goes by without a news story about some stolen laptop with important information on it. It happens, and if it happens to you, you have a problem. But there are several things that you can do to prevent your laptop from being stolen, and to mitigate the negative effects if it is.  

Prevention:

The rules for a laptop are the same as for a purse, briefcase, luggage, camera or other valuable items that you might carry around with you. 

  • Don’t leave it alone unless it is locked in a safe place. Take it with you everywhere. 
  • Maintain physical contact. If you put the laptop next to you in an airport or terminal, wrap the case strap around your arm so that you will feel if someone walks by and makes a grab.. 
  • Avoid leaving it in your car or motel room. Find a secure, lockable place to store your laptop. 

Safeguarding your data:

theft

No matter how vigilante you are, the worst can still happen. But there are some things that you can do to ahead of time to lessen the impact of your loss. 

  • Password protect your personal Windows account. This is easy to do and will take a bit of doing by a PC Tech to get past it. 
  • Get rid of any unsecured accounts on your system, including Guest. Make sure that all accounts have a good password. 
  • Protect critical data by password protection and encryption. There are several encryption schemes that can be applied to your document, spreadsheets and data file that will make them useless to others. While no encryption is unbreakable, modern ones are difficult enough that it is seldom worth the trouble to try. 
  • Back up your data. Online backups and high capacity flash drives make this easier than ever. If you back up to a removable media, keep it in a safe place, away from your laptop. 
  • Don’t keep your passwords on your laptop or in your case. That is like taping your house key to the front door. 
  • Vary your passwords. Otherwise, if a thief should discover one, he or she won’t have them all. 
  • Make sure that you use a good password that can’t be easily guessed by a casual acquaintance. A good password is at least 8 characters long, with a mixture of numbers and letters. Some people mix the case (upper and lower) to make it even more difficult to crack. Your password should never be a real word. Crackers use electronic dictionaries to try and crack passwords. 
  • Mark your laptop with a permanent ID. This will deter the professional thief who knows that a marked laptop is harder to sell. 

With a little extra care, preparation and common sense, you can minimize the risk of your laptop being stolen.