Laptop Theft Prevention

Laptop theft prevention is something many laptop owners don’t give enough attention to. I know I never did myself and I come from a computer background. Taking care of your laptop and sensitive data it contains by preventing its theft should be the utmost priority of every laptop owner yet it is so often overlooked. Laptop is unlike anything else you own. I can guarantee you that if you had a thousand dollar laptop stolen along with a ten thousand dollar Swiss watch, it would be that laptop that will cause more grief and headache and will be missed more. It’s because laptop is not just a fancy piece of latest technology. Laptop is also a storage device for some of your most valuable and treasured memories, information, work and more. Laptop theft prevention should truly be the priority and focus of every laptop owner and should be taken care of before you leave safety of your home with your precious laptop in the bag.

When I realized my laptop was stolen, I had pictures of all that went with it flash before my eyes. Stolen laptop means more loss than just the top of the line, supercharged machine I paid $1.600 for. I had countless documents I was working on on that computer – they are all gone. I had all the pictures from my 4 months trip in South East Asia on it – they are also all gone. I had videos there, all sent and received emails, contact information on friends I have made throughout my travels so far, updates for website I was working on – so much of essential work and personal stuff – all gone with just one act of a thief. It gave me chills when I realized that I will no longer be able to update this journal because all of the pictures I had from the trip were on that laptop. Some of the experiences I had documented with pictures could be relived, but some could not. There were some precious once in a lifetime encounters with other people from different walks of life I may never have another chance to meet and even if I do, their life’s path will have changed. All of this was gone with laptop.

While I was still in the Dominican Republic, I went to the internet cafe in San Pedro de Macoris to take immediate care of essentials after laptop theft. I have neglected laptop theft prevention so I had to deal with the aftereffects. I had to change countless passwords and edit access information to my server, website databases, email address accounts and personally sensitive areas of websites I’m a member of. The efforts of securing my own life and preventing identity thefts have been ongoing since and already took weeks of my time. Laptop theft is so serious.

After I have taken care of personal information security, I proceeded with additional essential steps. I have immediately notified Microsoft with serial number of Windows Vista operating system that was installed on my stolen laptop in hope that they are able to trace when this serial number connects to the internet and makes requests from Microsoft servers for upgrades or other services. I have also notified Samsung with the serial number of the laptop requesting them to have this serial number flagged as stolen so they can immediately notify international police should there be a trace of it or a request for support from whoever becomes its next owner. Finally, I have also notified Future Shop of this laptop theft. I purchased this machine at Future Shop in Edmonton along with $300 worth of 3 year service plan.

Had I taken better care of laptop theft prevention I could have saved myself from all this headache. I didn’t get a chance to get on line until 2 days after laptop had been stolen so I hoped whoever ended up having the laptop is not too experienced a hacker so they won’t find a quick way past the boot password I had on the machine. I was so glad I had that boot password in place – it was a bit of a hassle to have to put up with it while I was using the laptop but now that laptop was gone it proved invaluable. It does little as laptop theft prevention, but it either completely disables, or at least significantly slows access to the computer itself.

I knew that the thief will have to take the laptop to an expert in order to gain access to it and even if he’s really good at computers, he’ll be having hard time hacking into this one. Boot password on a laptop will require actual hardware reset – is possible at all. Hacker would need to open the unit to get into its guts and manually find a way to bust BIOS or replace BIOS chip entirely. That’s a lot of headache if… again – possible at all.

Laptop theft is a horrible experience. I have never considered it an option which was a mistake on my part. Most of all, I would never have thought that someone I am helping would steal my laptop. It’s a horrible experience but it opened up my eyes to the fact that there are many bad people out there and one can never be too careful. It also proved that laptops are very easy to steal. Their flat profile allows for fast and easy slip into any bag and because of flat surface it will not stick out when inside the bag. I had a digital SLR camera on the rear seat along with the laptop which was much more expensive and had yet more expensive lens mounted on it. Yet the thief did not dare to steal that one because the shape doesn’t allow for quick and easy slide into a bag and even if it made it to thief’s bag, the 3-dimensional proportions of a camera could give it out. That’s clearly why the thief opted for laptop theft. Unfortunately, even though laptop is less expensive than a DSLR camera, its overall value goes way beyond that of a camera, simply because of valuable, irreplaceable and personally identifiable data on it. Again, unlike with other electronic devices, laptop theft prevention is more important you could comprehend.

Every laptop owner should take laptop theft prevention very seriously. Learn from my mistake and don’t become the next victim of laptop theft. You are never suspicious enough when it comes to laptops and if your laptop is not in your reach or in your sight, know that it can be easily stolen. Dishonest people are always on a lookout for easy targets to steal and as you can see from my case – people won’t hesitate to steal from you even as you are helping them. Don’t be too trusting and never assume people are friendly with you because they like you. It is not until you pay for not being suspicious enough by seeing your valuable property stolen when you realize that bad people are everywhere, including at places where you least expect it. Laptop theft is a devastating experience and goes way beyond lost monetary value. Prevention is your best option. More than 97% of all stolen laptops are never recovered so prevention is virtually all you have. Laptop is more valuable than you care to realize. Don’t be the next victim of laptop theft. Take any and all necessary measures to prevent it. Take laptop theft p[prevention as the only way to avoid going through the same hell I am going through.