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How to Protect Your Laptop – From Theft and Data Loss

Find out the essential accessories to make your laptop safe and secure.  Don’t be the next victim in the ever popular crime of laptop theft.  Keep your laptop and all your critical information safe and secure.  Learn how.

The Frightening Truth:

Laptops have become one of those devices that is quickly going, and in some cases, already quickly gone from something that only techies or high level business people owned to something that even a poor college student finds a way to afford.  This is simply that our lives become wrapped around these objects.  Think of the cell phone.  Ten to 15 years ago it was again only the techies or important business people that owned a cell phone.  Now even elementary school kids have them so parents can be in constant contact when necessary.

We all have had the moment when we though we had misplaced our cell phone.  Imagine losing your laptop.  Not only is it a fairly significant expense, but think of the data you have on there.  You probably keep a file with account numbers, you have your family pictures stored there, maybe music, movies.  The list is a long one and an important one. 

Therefore, make sure you follow the recommendations in this article on how to protect your laptop.

The convenience of the laptop is obvious.  The computing power and versatility are equivalent to most desktop computers.  With the advent of wi-fi we can be on the internet almost anywhere and be emailing, chatting, writing, surfing the net or shopping, all anywhere in the world.

Here are some daunting statistics for laptop loss from 2008:

Relevant Data Loss and Data Breach Statistics

§         1 in 10 ...laptop computers will be stolen within the first 12 months of purchase.

§         97% ...of lost and stolen notebooks are never recovered.

§         50% ...of organizations reported laptop theft.

§         every 43 seconds  ...a computer is reported stolen.

§         every 3 days ... an information security breach is reported in the U.S.

§         82% ...of all PC’s will be mobile devices by 2008, increasing 4 times as fast as PCs.

§         4,425 ...laptops reported left behind in Chicago taxis during a six month period. 

§         56 million ...individuals affected by significant U.S. data security breaches, 2005.

§         1 billion ...PC users expected by 2010, up from 660-670 million today.

§         57% ...of corporate crimes are linked to stolen laptops. The latest crimes of espionage and sabotage are theft of executive personnel devices to access vital financial or personnel data.

( data source: datarevoke.com)

How Much Does Laptop Loss Cost?:

That completely depends on how you look at it and who is doing the looking….

Personal Laptop:

The actual cost here is the cost of the laptop and if stolen while in the laptop bag (most often this is the case) then you’ve lost all your accessories as well.  Not to mention possibly your wallet, MP3 player, passport (eek!).  Obviously the actual cost of items and the intangible loss of items such as wallets, all your stored music, your passport, etc. are vastly different.

Business or Corporate Laptop:

Here the intangible costs can be astronomical.  We have heard it on the news more than once and most of us have had it hit us directly with someone in the corporate world losing one or more laptops with critical customer data on it.  The cost the hardware is only about $4000, the information carried upon it was could be worth millions..

Of course, to get to valuable proprietary information is not the reason for all laptop thefts some laptop thieves head try to quickly sell the laptop as-is. However, some data indicate that about 10 percent to 15 percent of those laptops are stolen by criminals intent on selling the data.

How to Protect Your Laptop:

With this in mind, what can we do as individuals to prevent our own personal loss?

Laptop Security Cables:

This is one of the lowest cost and one of the most effective deterrents to theft.  As with most theft attempts, even a small amount of effort can make a huge difference.  For this to work you need to make sure that your laptop is equipped with the appropriate feature to attach a cable.  This is called a Universal Security Slot.

It is important to pay attention to what you are attaching the laptop and cable to.  You sometimes have to think like a thief.  If you really wanted to get that laptop could you?  If you answer is yes, then you need to add more security.  Consider looping the cable through a hole drilled in the lag of the desk.  If you just loop it around the leg than all it takes is some one strong enough to lift the desk enough to slip the cable under the leg and whoosh! your laptop is gone…

Keep Your Laptop Out of Sight:

If you are not with your laptop then it should be secured in a locked drawer or in the possession of someone you trust (for the short trip to the restroom for example).  Especially if you are in a public place like an airport, bookstore, or your favorite coffee shop.  Never leave your bag alone.

Some laptop cases scream “I have a laptop in here!”

Try to use a carrying case for your laptop that may be a bit beat up or at least not look like it obviously contains a laptop.  This may be difficult to do but can be a real effective way to have a thief move on to the next victim without bothering your precious laptop inside your ugly bag.

How to Protect Your Data:

I’m sure you’ve had moments when you couldn’t locate a file that you knew you had stored on your laptop.  The feeling of panic can be terrible until you find it.  Imagine your hard drive failing (it happens!).  You would lose all your important files – pictures, videos, everything. 

Therefore, first and most important is external storage.  External storage can be something as simple as a USB Flash Drive also known as a thumb drive (about the size of your thumb....) or a large external drive (about the size of an average hardcover book)

The type of external storage you select will depend on your needs.  If you just keep basic files (i.e. “Word” documents or spreadsheetsFree Web Content, etc) then a thumb drive could be enough (and they are very inexpensive) and can store up to 32 Gigabytes of data or if you are willing to pay a bit more they are larger storage capabilities available.  If you plan on storing large files such as lots of photos and videos then you may need to step up in capacity with an external hard drive.  They store up to 2 “Terabytes” (2000 Megabytes) of data.

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Jeff Snyder is an online marketer and has a site that describes the best laptop accessories to make your time on your laptop more enjoyable and comfortable.  Find the best ways to secure your laptop as well as all your critical data.  To find the best accessories and find the best places to get them, see his website at -->

http://www.bestlaptopaccessories.com/  



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