We saw a statistic the other day that really boggled our minds. LoJack, a security firm that specializes in theft, estimates that two million laptops are stolen each year. That's about a one in ten chance that your laptop will fall into someone else's hands. What can you do to prevent that?
If you have stumbled upon this article and your laptop has just been stolen, you will want to take some immediate steps.
If you are currently still in possession of your laptop, there are plenty of things you can do to help protect yourself and possibly get your laptop back in the event it is stolen.
This will help you when filing a police report in the event any electronic device is missing. The system we use to support business computers keep acomplete record of serial numbers and a detailed record of system components. This is useful to keep a permanent record of the assets your company has purchased.
Most laptops have a slot for connecting a security cable that you can lock and secure your laptop. This is a cheap, yet reliable first defense. It isn't to say that an ambitious thief won't cut through the cable or destroy the desk that the laptop is affixed to. Think of this as the equivalent of locking a screen door - if they really want to they can bypass it. Even something as simple as closing the blinds in your office can help. Theft often occurs when a thief is presented with an easy opportunity; blinds hide easy theft opportunities.
Apply a label to your devices with a toll-free number in the event the device is found. Sometimes a laptop might get picked up when found unattended but not by a theft, but an actual honest human being (they do exist!). Giving them the capability to contact you easily will ensure a swift return of your laptop. There are plenty of services that can help you facilitate this, such as www.boomerangit.com and www.trackitback.com.
Advanced software can be installed on the laptop that is very difficult to detect by thieves, but can be used to locate, lock down, and recover your stolen device. Depending on the solution, the software can be a one-time cost per device or a yearly fee, but expect to only spend a fraction of the cost compared to actually having to purchase a new laptop and install all of the software (not even considering the cost of lost data). We've experienced a few different solutions for different needs and the system we use to monitor and maintain business computers has some cability to locate a stolen laptop. Contact us at 360-528-6017 if you want to implement anti-theft software.
Password protecting your laptop isn't enough - it doesn't take much technical prowess to crack the Windows User screen. There are numerous tools that can help you encrypt your data so without your password, the data can't even be read. Give us a call for this too, setting up data encryption is a fairly simple procedure that can protect your sensitive information effectively.
Don't trust your laptop to be the only device that stores data. You should always have a backup solution and your laptop needs to be backed up to it. Data loss is more expensive in the long run than hardware theft. Save your data remotely, sync files to the cloud, or employ a remote backup solution that coincides with your company's current backup solution.
Just be careful! Keep your laptop by your side at all times, and don't just leave it in a conference room at an event. Don't leave a laptop sitting on the car seat in plain view in a parking lot. In airports, guard your laptop bag carefully. If your company issues laptops for employees, train and educate them on common sense and employ other precautions so in the event the device is stolen, your company can recover it and not risk data loss.Looking to secure your company's data, hardware, and network? Give BrightWire Networks a call at 360-528-6017 to talk about your business technology needs.
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