• Most thefts occur from cars. Many people just want to quickly go in to a store on their way from work. Hiding the laptop from sight doesn’t provide much safety, especially if you place it in the trunk upon arriving which gives the thief visual confirmation of the prize.
  • If your laptop bag is too heavy to carry with you, get a lighter one. There are many different styles available now, many are padded and comfortable to wear on your back like a backpack or shoulder strap. I have seen that Best Buy tends to carry a large selection.
  • Encrypt your files or entire laptop hard drive. Stolen laptops are typically destined for a quick resale which means that your unencrypted files could end up anywhere.
  • Regular backups will help ensure quicker recovery.
  • Treat your laptop as you would your own wallet.
Stolen laptop

Laptop Security

15 Comments
  1. I work around this issue by having a netbook as well as a laptop. Most of my important file s are on my laptop, which I don’t take out of the house or my dorm room. On the flip side, I use my netbook for class, take it around with me, etc. It’s lighter and saves me the trouble of worrying about my laptop.

  2. I have a light netbook and a carrying bag that goes around my shoulders. To me my laptop is actually lighter. Regarding your tips, thanks a lot. I always have an eye on my backpack and netbook bag. I forgot it at a few places before and ended up getting it back, but now I keep a good eye on it and always wear my netbook handbag so it does not go missing.

  3. Well, I don’t really carry my laptop around too often. I mostly use it in my room. But when ever I do, its always in my backpack or shoulder bag when I’m not using it. However, one never can be too sure. What if someone broke in my dorm or house room while I was out? so, for this reason my laptop is encrypted.

  4. I too, don’t carry my laptop with me too much, but whenever I do, I treat it better than my wallet. My laptop is my life, I can’t even imagine my day without it. Thanks for the tips, going to keep them in my mind next time I go somewhere with it.

  5. Great article. Although I don’t carry my laptop with me most of the times. I do understand the value of it. It contains all the information about me, not to mention most of it is highly private and needs to be secure.

    It’s absolutely necessary to treat it with caution and take utmost care of it when travelling.

  6. I totally agree. There is so much sensitive information on our laptops and they are so costly that you must treat it like your wallet. I don’t recommend using it on wireless networks outside of your own because other users can snoop on your internet activities. We pay most of our bills on the web now that we send sensitive data across networks without second though. Beware!

  7. i normally say if I were to sell my laptop I would resell it at least a million dollars because the information it has on can make someone a million dollars. So you have to be very careful how you carry your laptop and also where you go with it.

    • You can erase your personal information from your computer. It really is not that hard. You can also erase your web history and delete the user names and passwords that have been temporarily stored. That way you won’t be turning over any sensitive information to a buyer. Don’t let those fears stop you from selling your laptop.

  8. I’m glad I own a netbook too. It’s easier to carry it around when I have to bring it out of the house which is rare. I thought about hiding it in the car but with the weather in the Philippines being so warm, I just bring it with me for fear of it melting. Also, thanks to David’s article, I got my data secured.

  9. Thanks. My friend has a Laptop and they don’t want it to get stolen. I will let them know these useful tips. I also have this issue alot, it seems like nobody will steal it then before you know it your laptop is GONE. Especially considering how much Laptops are, it wa $1,200 for my Dell Laptop.

  10. I try not to leave my laptop unattended whenever I’m out in public. If it’s in my car I put it covered or in the trunk. Almost all of my personal info can be found on my laptop so I keep an eye on it and keep passwords on everything. Hopefully I don’t have to deal with it being stolen any time soon.

  11. Very useful tips. And we need more of these tips. More laptops now come with a section on keeping things safe in case the laptop gets stolen. Information on the manufacturer’s websites, although they may be directed at IT managers and not individual laptop owners, also contains information on how to keep your laptop safe, prevent theft, and things to do if your data is stolen/compromised. What is missing is the app discussion about it. It pays for insurance companies to test apps for tracking of consumers, clients and businesses, but for laptop tracking we need to find our own apps. I was told that there are software applications built for the specific purpose of tracking the whereabouts of your lost laptop. Usually, by the time you are the reader you won’t have time to test these applications.

  12. It’s hard to treat a laptop as a wallet, especially because of their size. Most people can’t tote around a laptop in a store, especially the work models because they are so bulky. However, if a laptop has tracking software with a cellular data connection, it would probably be really easy to find.

  13. I agree with this theory. If your going to be moving around from place to place with your laptop and have sensitive information on it, you’re going to want to do everything you can to protect it. I’ve seen many instances like this in movies where information is being sought after and laptop thievery happens from cars that the laptop was openly left in or by the computer owner making it obvious in public that it is highly valuable before storing it. You have to protect things like this much more carefully.

  14. It’d be nice to read an article on how to encrypt one’s files. I’d definitely go for it if I knew how to do it. I often worry about my laptop being stolen, I have a lot important info and files on here. That possibility scares me so much. I actually feel so worried every time I leave the house. I’m so afraid someone will get in and steal my laptop as well as other things, but the laptop getting stolen would be a very heavy blow. All my life is in there…

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