Laptop LCD Screens & Beyond: Care & Safety of your Laptop
Each year, thousands of people are shocked, panicked, and dismayed to find that their laptops have been stolen. It could happen at work, at the office, school, a library, airports, and even buses. In short, without due diligence, laptop theft can occur just about anywhere. One of the more concerning things too is that an unwatched, unsecured laptop can be swiped in mere minutes. Although this does sound a bit scary, there are a number of steps that laptop owners can take to deter theft, hacking, and vandalism.
Using a Secure Operating System
Securing your operating system simply means making sure that it is not vulnerable to hackers, viruses, worms, and other online threats. One of the most effective measures is to install a reliable anti-virus program on the computer. This generally takes care of the bulk of online hazards. Setting up a firewall will block unauthorized users from accessing your computer. Finally, donít forget to regularly opt for automated software updates. These often include patches or fixes for bugs and weak security areas of your operating system.
- Operating System Requirements (PDF) - This presentation outlines the online security hazards that threaten computer users, and the types of security needed.
- Securing a System - Firewalls, regular software updates, and antivirus software all help to keep a computer safe. This guide also details security procedures for computers operating on Windows.
- Mac Safety Guide (PDF) - Mac users should familiarize themselves with their computerís safety features, which vary somewhat from Windows computers.
Engraving or Asset Tagging Your Laptop
Engraving a laptop typically consists of etching a personís name or security ID number discreetly into the laptop. This is normally done on the underneath of the laptop, or along the sides. Having a laptop engraved ensures that it is properly identifiable in case it is later found. Tags are another way of adding your identification details to a laptop. They are extremely difficult to remove.
Using Cable Locks
Cable locks are used to physically tie down a laptop to another object. It is best if the other object is something very large or heavy, so that it cannot easily be removed along with the laptop. Cable locks are fairly inexpensive and come with either a set of keys, or a combination feature. Do remember that in order for a cable lock to do its job, it must be used correctly. Research the brands, and donít skimp when it comes to choosing a strong, reliable model.
Use Laptop Tracking Software
Laptop tracking software is a wonderful secret weapon for laptop owners. It can be used as a last resort if all other security features have somehow been breached. Typically, laptop tracking software should be installed as soon as you get your laptop. After installing the software, it will generate a secure passcode for you. If the laptop is ever stolen or lost, the owner can download the same software on another computer, enter their passcode, and review the details of the laptopís location.
- Adeona - Download a free, open-source program that tracks your laptopís location if it is stolen or lost.
- Computer Tracking Programs - Learn more about how computer tracking programs help to locate a laptop.
- Types of Laptop Tracking Software - This article explains a few different types of software programs that help to track laptops.
Preventing Laptop Theft
In general, donít forget that a laptop is indeed an expensive and much sought-after item. Apart from the price of the physical product, you should also consider the value of all of your data that lies in its files. Always keep your laptop locked in a safe place when it is not in use. In public, keep it in a secure case and always keep it with you. By using a discreet case or backpack, you can help to avoid the attention of potential thieves. Never leave it unattended, even for just a minute.