Thefts are crimes that are old as human history and can happen to anyone at any time. In modern society, theft of portable electronic devices such as smartphones and laptops is quite common everywhere around the globe.
There are many situations in your everyday life where your laptop might get stolen—while you’re out on lunch, while it’s in your lockers, or in extreme cases, mugging.
A stolen laptop can be a significant liability, especially if it’s a work or study laptop. It might be sensitive personal or work information that can put you at risk. There are certain steps you should take immediately if your laptop gets stolen.
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How To Respond to Laptop Theft
Your response to a laptop theft depends on some precautions you need to take before the theft even occurs and what you do afterward. Some of the precautions you can take will make it much easier to deal with the fallout of the theft. Several of the most common things you need to respond to laptop theft include.
Always Be Wary About Theft
It’s comparatively easier for a laptop to get stolen than a smartphone because it isn’t always convenient to carry one in person. You should never leave a laptop lying around in a vehicle, even for a toilet break at a gas station or getting a soda from a shop.
Never let your laptop leave your eyes even for a second. It’s best to purchase laptop bags that have shoulder straps like backpacks to ensure you can carry it comfortably.
Make Sure To Track Your Device
Laptops are trackable in the same way as desktops. However, the way to go about it is a bit different. Unlike smartphones and tabs, laptops can only be tracked using third-party commercial location software. You can also opt for engraving personalized markings or serial numbers on the body or use tamper-resistant tags.
This software can be a bit expensive but is a good investment if your laptop contains sensitive information and data. Some brands, most prominently Apple, also use proprietary built-in tracking technology on their devices which allows laptop users a wide range of actions to minimize the damage from the theft.
Protect the Data on Your Device
To ensure that the thief doesn’t get access to your data even if it’s stolen, you should use full-disk and file encryption methods to protect the data from your device.
Encrypted hard drives are extremely difficult to access, even for seasoned hackers, so you can rest assured that even if your precious laptop got stolen, at least your information is safe.
To encrypt your data, you need commercially available encryption software. If you ensure that you’ve taken all the precautions, all you have to do after your laptop is stolen is inform the police. Make sure to provide the following information to make it easier for the cops to catch the perpetrators.
- Incident history (date, time, how it happened, and how you first responded).
- Location software data and malware scan results (if available).
- IP address
- MAC address.
- Your home address.
- Your email address and phone number.
The police aren’t the only authorities who have to know about the theft. You also need to notify your workplace or study institution to change your account details immediately. Once you’ve provided these details, the responsibilities on your end are complete. All that’s left afterward is for the cops to do their job.
The Good News
The good news is that recovering stolen laptops is much easier when the owner has taken the proper precautions. Even if your laptop gets damaged during the theft, it can be repaired easily, provided the damage isn’t too significant. To find a good laptop repair service, search for ‘laptop repair near me.’
Also, Apple products usually have a remote wipe feature that can easily dump any sensitive data in your device before anyone else can access it.
Prevention Is Better Than The Cure
Prevention is always better than the cure, and as such, it’s best if you can ensure your laptop doesn’t get stolen in the first place. By chance, it does; taking these precautions and responses will increase the chances of finding your laptops. Protect your data and your laptop to avoid any future problems.