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Laptop Security

  • Never leave a laptop unattended (in the open).
  • Laptop theft is a crime of opportunity. Always keep the laptop at your side. If you are at the coffee shop, do not walk away, even for 30 seconds. Thieves often have less than 30 seconds to make "a hit" on your laptop. They are good at it.
  • Never leave a laptop stored in a parked car in plain view.
  • Always store a laptop in the trunk when storing in a vehicle--and note the remaining risk.
    • Store your laptop in the trunk if you must leave it with the car. Heed storage temperature warnings from the manufacturer if extremely hot/cold temperatures are expected. Also note that some high-profile laptop thefts have occurred even with the laptop in the trunk. This indicates thieves who were watching the target and knew the laptop was concealed in the trunk.
  • Never leave a laptop in an accessible area, such as a college dorm room, apartment or hotel room, in plain sight.
    • If you have a safe (many hotel rooms offer this now), use it.
  • Always carry the laptop in a discrete bag/case, not readily-identifiable as a laptop bag.
  • Always lock doors and lock the laptop machine itself if possible.
  • Always encrypt critical, sensitive information.
  • Always install your operating system's latest updates.
  • Always install anti-virus/anti-spyware and firewall software.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings.
  • Always keep the shoulder strap on, or a strap wrapped around your arm, when traveling in crowds.
    • Some laptop thefts occur as regular "muggings." As with a purse, keep the strap of your laptop carrying bag around your shoulder or looped around your arm for extra protection. This will also help prevent accidental loss or misplacement in a crowd.
  • Always clearly and visibly mark the laptop to warn potential thieves of trackability.
    • Ever wonder why security alarm companies place a stand-up sign in your front yard when they install the alarm? It is not to advertise (though that is also a benefit). It warns potential thieves of risk. Quite simply, The Sign Stops Crime. This is the same reason that Neighborhood Watch signs are posted near the entrances to neighborhoods.

  • Always record the model number and serial number of the laptop and take photographs.
    • Police investigators, the FBI, your insurance company, and others will want as much information as you can provide if a theft occurs. Be absolutely certain to record the model number, serial number, and purchase information about your laptop now, before it is too late. Take photographs of the machine.
    • All of this information, including photographs, can be stored directly in a MyLaptopGPS account online, using the SafeRegistry core capabilities built right into the system. The system can store a virtually unlimited number of property records for your possessions--not just your laptop.