The beauty of laptops and notebook computers lies in their portability. Unfortunately, their very makes them vulnerable to theft. Whether you take yours down to the local coffee house to get some work done while you sip your latte or if you lug it across country on business trips, ensuring your laptop’s security is a must.
Thieves steal laptops for a couple of reasons, one, is to make a quick buck at the local pawn shop. The other is in hopes of stealing proprietary data and financial information. No matter the reason, your best bet is to prevent the theft in the first place.
Many laptops come with a Universal Security Slot or USS. This slot is designed for attaching a security cable to the chassis of the computer. If you do not have a USS, consider cables with adhesive pads that stick on to the laptop. While adhesive may sound cheesy and vulnerable, today’s adhesives are quite strong and not easily tampered with. By purchasing and using an inexpensive security cable you will deter most thieves. Instead of bothering with your computer, they will search for easier prey.
Other physical security products include laptop safes, motion sensors and alarms. Laptop safes allow you to transport your laptop securely but it is a trade off as lugging around a portable safe is a heavy proposition.
To further reduce risk of theft, label your laptop or notebook computer with conspicuous, difficult to remove identifying tags. Never leave your laptop unattended and store it out of sight.
To protect your data in the event your laptop does end up in the wrong hands, be sure to utilize log on features and passwords. Sure, some hackers will blow right through passwords but you still want to try, right? And if the thief lacks the hacking skills he may just give up.
Biometrics, the stuff of yesterday’s Sci-Fi, is arriving. Biometric authentication devices that require a fingerprint or retinal scan before the computer boots up are making their way to the marketplace.
Tracking devices are available for laptops too. Once a laptop is reported stolen and eventually connects to the internet, it will signal the tracking company with as much data as possible about its internet connection. Given enough information such as internet service provider, IP address etc, it’s conceivable that authorities may be able to find your laptop. Some tracking companies have software in place that will then allow you to connect to your laptop and perform commands on the stolen machine remotely, assuming it is connected to the internet. These commands could you to delete your data.
Understand that your laptop is a target for thieves. By taking a few extra steps to secure it and by being aware of your surroundings, you will make yourself a less attractive victim.