Laptop theft is one of the fastest growing problems in this age of Information Technology and Security. Who can forget the nightmare scenario that occurred at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs around 2006 May?
A department analyst loaded a file onto his laptop and took it home for the night, where burglars promptly walked off with it — along with identifying information on 26.5 million veterans. While the laptop was eventually retrieved, most are not.
I derive the motivation for this post from such incidents. In this post, lets learn about a few basic tips which can certainly prevent your laptop from getting stolen.
1. Visual deterrents – A laptop in the office environment should be secured with a lock or put into a secure locker when not in use. An opportunistic burglar could be put off by a lock as they have only a small window of time to get out before they are discovered.
2. Don’t make it obvious you are carrying a laptop – Rather that a tell-tale laptop bag, laptops should be carried in inconspicuous bags, such as backpacks or tote bags.
3. Avoid leaving laptops unattended – Lock them in cupboards or other secure facilities when not being used. If they must be left in a car, they should be covered up or locked in the boot.
4. Discourage theft by publicising the use of security products such as asset tracking software – If thieves think that they might be caught, they will be less likely to take it in the first place.
5. Add identification to your laptop – For example, adding barcodes or engraving details onto the device will act as a deterrent. Thieves usually steal laptops to immediately sell them on. Obvious identification makes it a less desirable target.
6. When flying, never check your laptop in as luggage – Laptops should be taken onto a plane as hand luggage. Be aware of thieves swapping briefcases coming out of the x-ray machine at security.
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