Securing your laptop from theft
- Don’t Leave Laptops in Plain Sight. Often, our laptops sit on a table near a window and in clear view. When not in use, store the laptop away, out of plain view from the home exterior.
- If you are out in public, either tether your laptop to the table with a security lock or take it with you. It only takes a second of letting your laptop out of your sight for someone to grab it.
- Record Your Laptop Serial Number, Model Number and Approximate Value. This helps police locate stolen property when we have the serial numbers. In the event the laptop is recovered, there is a much better chance of having the property returned to you.
- Engrave Your Laptop. Using an engraving pen or etcher, etch the item with your driver’s license number, or if a company laptop engrave the company name and the last four digits of the company tax ID number. Handheld engravers are available at most hardware stores for less than $25. Also use this tool to similarly engrave your other electronics (desktop computers, DVD players, gaming systems, etc.). Property that is obviously engraved with a person’s or company ID makes that property less attractive to thieves.
- Password Protect Your Laptop. Make it more difficult for someone to access you system and the data in your files.
- Back Up Your Data. This is especially important if you use your laptop for business. Either use a thumb drive, CDs or a cloud based back up service to keep copies of your files somewhere safe. Make regular scheduled backups a habit.
COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE SECURITY PRODUCTS
Laptop Security Cables: Think of it as a bike cable for your laptop. Some of these connect to your laptop’s built in security slot and have combination or keyed locks. Just loop the cable around an immovable object and secure it to the laptop security slot. These items range in price between $20-50.
Laptop Security Brackets: These come in many varieties. Some secure the laptop to a surface by bolting the bracket to a surface while others connect to a cable. They can secure the laptop in either an open or closed opposition depending on the type you get. The price range on these is about $100-$120.
Laptop Lockers: Laptop Lockers are safes designed to securely store laptop computers and other valuables. They can be mounted anywhere and deter theft and unwanted access. These cost around $125.
Computer Tracking Software: These “LoJack for Laptops” software tracks the location of a computer hard drive when that system accesses the Internet and notifies theft recover teams as to it’s exact location. Seattle Police recovered several laptops in the past 12 months as a result of this software.