Stop Theft Plate – Tagging my Laptop to Prevent Theft

Laptops come in a variety of slick designs which along with their great resale value make them an attractive target for thieves. After my laptop was stolen, I was gonna watermark my new laptop with irremovable information that would identify me as a rightful owner. Just as I was about to do that, I found out about Stop Theft Security Tracking Tags and ordered one to use as a superior way to watermark the laptop which not only watermarks it, it further deters theft, increases chances of recovery and unlike regular, hand-crafted watermark, increases resale value if the equipment is sold by the rightful owner. I had ordered my Stop Theft Plate and received it in a little over week despite international shipping (from the USA to Canada). Installation of the tag was easy and straightforward except from one inconsistency in the manual which kept me constantly confused (hope Stop Theft people are going to look into that and fix it). This is how I went about tagging my laptop to prevent theft with Stop Theft Plate:

Photo: My Stop Theft Tagging Plate Came in This USPS Package
Photo: My Stop Theft Tagging Plate Came in This USPS Package

Stop Theft Tag – What’s In The Box

My Stop Theft tag came well packaged, shipped by USPS after I opted against the UPS delivery (my previous experiences with items shipped to me via UPS from abroad resulted in prolonged delays due to excessive screening of international shipments using non postal delivery services). The box contained the Stop Theft kit and a sales receipt. Within the Anti-Theft System box were the following items:

  • Stop Theft Steel Plate with Red Warning Sticker
  • Instant Adhesive
  • Cleaning Alcohol Swab
Photo: The Package Contained Stop Theft Kit and Sales Receipt
Photo: The Package Contained Stop Theft Kit and Sales Receipt
Photo: Stop Theft Kit Contained Tagging Plate, Adhesive and Alcohol Swab
Photo: Stop Theft Kit Contained Tagging Plate, Adhesive and Alcohol Swab

Stop Theft Tag Installation

Tagging my laptop with a Stop Theft plate was simple and straightforward except from a confusing statement on both the kit which contained the installation instructions on its rear side as well as on the pdf document containing installation procedure posted on the Stop Theft website. The confusing part consisted of referring to the instant adhesive as “adhesive’, “glue” and “gel”. In order for the tattoo to properly etch on the casing of your laptop, it is important to apply a thin strip of “gel” which will activate chemical process resulting in permanent ink on your equipment. Because you will not find anything labelled as “gel” in the kit supplied to you, referring to something this important as “gel” is extremely confusing and makes you feel like you are not doing it correctly.

Photo: Stop Theft Kit Contained Installation Instructions
Photo: Stop Theft Kit Contained Installation Instructions

I believe Stop Theft people should revise their installation instructions and clarify this statement. Since there is no gel provided with the kit, only Instant Adhesive, it would be advisable to refer to it as such throughout their installation instructions. Confusing the crap out of their customers doesn’t do the otherwise solid company any good. The process of tagging my newly purchased Samsung N150 netbook is shown below with pictures:

I wanted to have the plate on the lid of the laptop, to ensure it is highly visible, but chose the far end of it so it doesn’t deface the flipping side of it too much. In order for the tag to properly attach to your equipment, it is essential that you choose a flat surface and DO make it the front of your computer, not some obscure side of rear end.

Photo: My Samsung N150 Netbook Ready to be Tagged for Theft Prevention
Photo: My Samsung N150 Netbook Ready to be Tagged for Theft Prevention

Step 1: Cleaning the Area for Tagging

Photo: Cleaning Swab Contains 70% Isopropyl Alcohol and Works Great in Removing Impurities and Oil Deposits
Photo: Cleaning Swab Contains 70% Isopropyl Alcohol and Works Great in Removing Impurities and Oil Deposits
Photo: I Cleaned the Far Corner of the Laptop Lid with Alcohol Swab and Let It Dry Thoroughly Before Proceeding
Photo: I Cleaned the Far Corner of the Laptop Lid with Alcohol Swab and Let It Dry Thoroughly Before Proceeding

Step 2: Applying Gel to the Plate

Photo: Loctite 454 Instant Adhesive Bonds Skin Instantly. Only Apply Small Amount to the Plate to Avoid the Excess Oozing Out from Under the Plate
Photo: Loctite 454 Instant Adhesive Bonds Skin Instantly. Only Apply Small Amount to the Plate to Avoid the Excess Oozing Out from Under the Plate

I applied a thin strip of adhesive along the entire width of the tattoo and a tiny drop near each corner of the plate before placing the plate on the case.

Step 3: Apply Tagging Plate to Laptop

Photo: I Kept the Plate Firmly Pressed Against the Case to Ensure Firm, Airtight Bond for About 20 Seconds
Photo: I Kept the Plate Firmly Pressed Against the Case to Ensure Firm, Airtight Bond for About 20 Seconds

Step 4: Apply Red Warning Sticker

Photo: After Steel Plate Was Firmly Affixed, I Applied Red Warning Sticker Next To It
Photo: After Steel Plate Was Firmly Affixed, I Applied Red Warning Sticker Next To It

Step 5: Register Tagged Laptop

After proper hardware application, I went to to register the laptop and link it to my tag ID. The warning sticker which informed me not to forget about the registration as sole application of the plate without registration of the ID is worthless was on the steel plate and I removed it after I was done registering.

Careful application of the adhesive should ensure that you don’t experience any excess oozing out from under the plate after application. However if you go overboard applying too much, take the protective backing you peeled from the back of the steel plate and use it to gently wipe off the excess.

Photo: My Samsung N150 Netbook Tagged with Stop Theft Security Plate
Photo: My Samsung N150 Netbook Tagged with Stop Theft Security Plate

My laptop was protected. Stop Theft is a simple, yet effective way to watermark the equipment. I was gonna watermark my laptop anyway, but Stop Theft plate made it simple, more effective and more elegant, while retaining the resale value while in control of the rightful owner. This protection will be on my laptop for as long as the laptop is around. If I decide to sell the laptop, new owner will get it with complimentary Stop Theft protection. This added value will increase the resale value of the unit. There are no annual or renewal fees to continue having the tagged equipment protected.

Stop Theft Tag – Security Tracking of Office Property

After I had my laptop stolen, I realized that one of the most powerful and easiest to implement ways to deter theft and identify yourself as a rightful owner even if the laptop is not in your hands is by permanently watermarking your unit. If you are able to make a permanent, irremovable mark on a visible part of your laptop, than chances of resale drop significantly, value drops insanely and chances of recovery increase. Writing your name and contact email address with accompanying text that identifies you as the rightful owner with a permanent marker would be somewhat good, but carving the information in just in case someone uses a solution that can wipe off the permanent ink is even better. This is what I was going to do but then I found out about much better a solution, one that serves a bunch of other good causes – Stop Theft Tag for Security Tracking of Office Property.

Photo: Stop Theft - Security Tracking of Office Property Package
Photo: Stop Theft - Security Tracking of Office Property Package

Stop Theft is a security plate that gets permanently attached to your office equipment (most popular with laptops, but can be used with other office equipment) and requires great amount of force to remove. Any attempt to remove Stop Theft tag results in visible damage to the equipment which significantly decreases its resale value. Removal of the plate also reveals the etching below which is permanently tattooed on the casing of your equipment and contains words “Stolen Property” along with the toll free number (+1 800 488 STOP) which connects to the Stop Theft’s recovery hotline. This toll free number also appears on the security tag along with bar-coded ID. There is a highly visible, well worded warning on the tag which makes everyone aware that tagged laptop is police identifiable and contains other information to quickly facilitate the recovery of your laptop whether it’s stolen, lost or misplaced.

While the Stop Theft tagged laptop is under your control, its value is increased. However if stolen, the tag which is attached at a prominent location, along with the chemically bonded tattoo below make it impossible to explain to a potential buyer, completely eliminating the elicit resale value of the property. Because Stop Theft tag links the equipment to one particular user, this user can sell the equipment along with the access to their Stop Theft account which could serve as added value that comes with the laptop, increasing its potential worth.

The downside of permanently marking your laptop at a highly visible spot is that it ties the laptop to you forever. That diminishes its resale value even if you as a rightful owner decide to sell it. It could also deface your notebook and make it look very visually unpleasing or downright hideously ugly. Stop Theft Security Tracking Tag solves these issues with style, provides the same effect as you would achieve with your own, hand crafted watermark, adds a patented method that etches a permanent, unremovable tattoo to your equipment but also provides easy and free ways for contact rightful owner without disclosing their identity and contains strong language that would make would-be thieves think twice before they touch your laptop. Most of all, unlike self made watermark, Stop Theft Security Tracking Tag adds resale value to your laptop for as long as it is the rightful owner who is looking to sell it. In the hands of the thief, it does exact opposite.

Photo: Stop Theft Tag Applied on My Samsung N150 Netbook
Photo: Stop Theft Tag Applied on My Samsung N150 Netbook

Stop Theft Security Tracking Tag costs only $20 to buy. If you purchase larger quantities of the tag, price per tag becomes significantly lower. This can be particularly invaluable for the use by organizations with many portable devices (such as laptops). Because of attractive price when you buy a bulk of 10 plates and because of savings on shipping, I thought of buying 10 at the same time and possibly using it overtime on new laptops I may buy in the future or some other equipment (use of Stop Theft Security Tracking Plates is not limited to laptops). However I have eventually decided to go with only one after discussing my options with Doug Belfiore, one of the people behind Stop Theft.

Talking with Doug of Stop Theft was a positive experience that further proved the company is on top of the game and uses coveted human approach. Replies were timely and contained no cut and paste phrases. Doug was responding directly to me, addressing directly everything I asked about and talked like a friend, rather than some machine that must deal with customers every day. I had no doubt that Stop Theft is a solid company. I did my research and found nothing but good things that people had to say about them and their product. It is a great value for money and an invaluable security feature that could save you from a lot of grief.

Because Stop Theft is a US based company (located in Norwalk, Connecticut), the tags are shipped from there which means longer waiting times and higher overall cost for all of use who don’t live in the US. Shipping to Canada was almost $12 US (shipped by USPS – the less expensive of two available options) which increased the cost of the whole ordeal by more than 50% however the plate came well packaged and was shipped swiftly (USPS tracking number was emailed to me within hours of order placement), causing no delays in application. I was truly excited when I got the parcel as it made me instantly feel as though the chances of losing my laptop to a theft again dropped significantly. I could not wait to apply the security sticker to my machine.

Stop Theft Security Tracking of Office Property Website is located on


The preceding is my personal review of the office equipment security tracking system Stop Theft. I have not been paid to post this review.

Check out how I tagged my laptop with Stop Theft plate to prevent theft.

Laptop Theft Prevention Tips

It wasn’t until I had my laptop stolen when I realized how important laptop theft prevention is. Statistically, in the United States alone, one laptop is stolen every minute. On a global scale the numbers are frightening. What’s even worse is the recovery rate – more than 97% of all stolen laptops is never recovered. Given that laptop theft is such frequently occurring crime and that chances of recovery are next to none, laptop theft prevention is absolutely crucial for every laptop owner. I have learned my lesson the hard way and it opened up my eyes to the reality and lead me to realize what I should have done to avoid getting my laptop stolen. I’m gonna share my hard way learned Laptop Theft Prevention Tips with you. Some of them are tips to help recover if theft or loss occur but they are as important as theft prevention tips hence are included:

Watermark Your Laptop

I’m not kidding – nobody does that but that’s the best laptop theft prevention tip ever. You won’t find this advice on any other list of laptop theft prevention tips, but let me explain where the power of it lies and how to properly execute it:

Watermarking your laptop basically means that you will freehand draw something on it in visible, large letters – something that will identify you as the rightful owner of the laptop and will identify everyone else as a thief. My stolen laptop was white. When I was buying it, I saw the white color as something very distasteful as it made my laptop look like a Mac Book which is truly awful. I have eventually decided to go for it since it was the best laptop with the best configuration and price available at the time. Looks were secondary, but overtime I’ve grown to like it despite Mac like white exterior color.

I should have taken advantage of white exterior and bought thick black permanent marker and write right across the case my name and email address. It’s no different to watermarking the images you upload on the internet to help identify you as the copyright owner if someone steals it to use illegally, or to putting a name tag on your check in luggage at the airport. Irremovable watermark on the laptop’s case makes it an easily and immediately recognizable unit. When reporting the theft to the police, if your laptop was watermarked, you would be able to offer an information that instantly identifies your laptop. There could be hundreds of thousands of white Samsung laptops out there, but had I watermarked it, there would be only one white Samsung laptop with huge handwriting which says my name and my email address. How is that for linking the laptop to myself?

Laptops that are not watermarked look like any other laptops, whereas a laptop that is watermarked looks like your particular one that was stolen. That is a powerful deterrent for a thief, a powerful deterrent for a potential buyer and a powerful means to make it back to you in case it ends up in wrong hands. I bought white laptop even though I didn’t like white color, because you don’t buy laptops for the looks. You buy them because they suit you for the use you intend to use them for. Looks are completely secondary so spoiling those looks with massive watermark will not diminish its functionality, but may help turn potential thieves off and even if stolen, could hugely assist in recovery. This is the best and easiest to apply laptop theft prevention tip ever. Most people buy laptops to use them. Unless you are one of few who buy laptops to sell them, then watermarking is not a good option, but if you are coughing up a grand so you can do computing on the road, watermarking your laptop can pay for itself in more ways than one.

And don’t worry if your laptop is not white like mine was. Even if it’s black – get yourself silver marker or use your sisters nail-polish. As an alternative, you can also use engraving. Carve your name on laptop’s lid. There’s no way anyone could remove it so your name will forever be associated with true ownership of this particular laptop.

Back-Up Your Data!

Important! Important! Important! Super important and then some. Back up your data often and always. And then back up again and when you’re done go and make another back up. Never neglect this need because it only takes a split second and your laptop could be gone. And like me, you will lose more than just the laptop itself. I lost my memories and the ability to post new updates from the rest of my trip in South East Asia. I lost work in progress I had on my websites, I lost important documents, sent and received emails, contact information on people I met during my travels – so much lost because I did not back up my data. I simply did not consider it an option that someone could steal my laptop. but as it goes, there are all kinds of people out there, including such who will steal from you when you are most vulnerable – when you are helping them because you expect them to be grateful not to be looking to rob you.

There are plain and simple two kinds of people in the world – those who back up their data regularly and those who have not lost their data yet. Data loss awaits around the corner to happen to you. Sooner or later some freak accident takes place and your data will be gone. Unless you have a solid back up (preferably more than one) everything that matters to you will be irreversibly gone. Do not ever neglect that. Smart people learn from other people’s mistake – be a smart person and learn from my mistake. Back up your data right now. You turn your head one way, turn it back and your laptop could be gone. Thieves are extremely skilled these days and know how to go about stealing successfully. Back ups are important. Besides, you can buy a large enough USB stick for a few bucks which will make backing up easy, quick and inexpensive. You can go through DVD burning or use of online backup services – the more you use, the better but even if you don’t like the hassle, you still have many options available to you. Do it. Don’t be like me thinking that this could never happen to you. Back up your data right now. It’s that important. I won’t hesitate to repeat it like a broken record over and over because it is the strongest truths of all.

Never Store Sensitive Data on a Laptop

As mentioned above, laptop theft is a common occurrence. Don’t assume for one second that it could never happen to you. I’m the most careful guy in the world who also knows what he’s doing when he’s on a computer yet I had my laptop stolen. On some days you are less alert than on others, on some days you are frustrated by external sources – all of this affects you and leaves you potentially vulnerable to laptop theft. And thieves are always out there and always looking for a guy or girl who is not having the best day of their lives today. When it rains it pours and misery likes company. I was having the shittiest day in a long time when I had my laptop stolen. Always assume that thieves are out there and ask yourself: what would happen if they stole my laptop today? Act accordingly!

Assume that you could have your laptop stolen in the next minute, so never have any of your login information set to remember on your laptop. Never check off any of those “Remember Me on This Computer” check boxes. Never choose to have any cookies stored locally to prevent you from always having to type in log in credentials when you are visiting your favorite sites. That especially applies when dealing with bank accounts or other institutions where financial information is exchanged. It’s much easier to have to type it in each time you need to get in the site than to have to go through recovery of moved assets or worse. Always act as if your laptop could get stolen any minute. You have no idea how much headache you save yourself from.

Set Up Boot Password

This is one thing I did and it still works on my behalf even with laptop gone. It is quite possible that thief or her accomplices have not yet got into my laptop only thanks to the boot password. When it comes to laptop theft aftermath, this is one of the strongest protection layers you have. To set up your boot password on a PC, you need to access BIOS menu which can be done by pressing one of the F keys on your keyboard. It used to be F1 or F2 or DEL back on older versions of Windows, but with my Samsung laptop it was the F10 key. It may be different on different models but usually before the operating system starts loading, the message briefly pops letting you know what to press to access the BIOS setup utility menu. It could be a single key or a combination of keys (such as CTRL + ALT + ESC).

Once you are in the BIOS setup utility, find where to set up boot password (could also be called user password, system password, or power-on password) and choose something that is not a dictionary word and is difficult or impossible to guess. I myself was using foreign word from an unusual language and had it purposefully misspelled. Having a Windows password is also good, but this is easier to bypass. Boot password is much more difficult and depending on the version of BIOS installed, could be near impossible without actual hardware replacements or resets.

Once you have your boot password successfully set up, it will be the first thing you will need to enter for the laptop to start doing anything. It won’t even initiate loading of the operating system unless correct boot password was entered. It could be a bit of a hassle to have to enter it each time you start up your computer, but you’ll be happy you had it.

Password Protect Screensaver Resumption

I had my screensaver set up to turn on after 3 minutes of inactivity. This is a very short time, but considering that it’s a laptop we’re talking about, I never wanted anyone to possibly get into it easily when I need to get on the phone or have other distraction taking my focus away from the laptop. This was a great idea even though created a little bit of a headache at times. An important part of this set up was to require a Windows password on resumption so when screensaver was activate, when the mouse was moved it went away, but required password to let a person in the operating system. Very good idea with laptops and a highly recommended theft prevention tip.

Install Stolen Laptop Tracking Software

Again, this was one of the things I have severely neglected and it limited my recovery options after my laptop was stolen. Laptop theft recovery software is not perfect, but at least it’s something that can help track down your laptop. There are several options out there but none of them seems perfect, however they are better than nothing:

LoJack for Laptops is a stolen laptop tracking program from Absolute Software. It requires annual subscription payments but Absolute has members on staff who know what to do when theft takes place. When you ping them regarding laptop theft, they will report it to appropriate authorities and work with them on recovery taking a lot off your shoulders. Their software will allow you to take certain actions when your stolen laptop connects to internet – you could remotely delete data if for example your laptop had sensitive personal information on it or you could continue tracking it with quite precise location trace. If your laptop is also equipped with a webcam, LoJack for Laptops will take a screenshot of what webcam can see which will likely uncover what the thief looks like right there. Since LoJack for Laptops resides in your BIOS not as part of the operating system, it activates upon start up of the laptop. You can buy 1 year of LoJack for Laptop service for $59.99 or 3 years for $109.99. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like LoJack for Laptops works reliably (if at all) outside of the USA. More info on

GadgetTrak is another software similar to LoJack for Laptops. It is installed on the machine and resides idling until you activate it using a web browser. So in the event of laptop theft, you can either go to an internet cafe or use your cell phone with enabled web browsing and with a click of a button the software on the laptop takes pictures of what your webcam can see and will send you its geographical location. The software promises to be privacy friendly claiming that all info collected by the software is only sent to your email or your flickr account, not to the company. GadgetTrak subscription services start at $19.99 a year. More info on

Prey Project – unlike above mentioned two softwares, Prey is an open source solution, which means it is free to use and free to modify. Prey is supported by a team of enthusiastic programmers from around the world and is under constant development so improved features are coming all the time. It works great and does exactly what it says it would (tracking stolen laptops) but unlike LoJack for Windows, it doesn’t have manpower behind it to work with the police in efforts to help recover your stolen laptop. Prey resides silently on the laptop and checks periodically whether there are any open wifi signals and if so, it connects to the internet and checks whether it has been “ordered” to start sending tracking information to the rightful owner. The downside is that because it is an installed software, it can be removed or bypassed from the system if laptop is handled by a computer savvy thief. LoJack resides in computer BIOS which makes it much more resilient to removal. Being open source, Prey can also be abused to track other people – if I installed in on your computer, I could at any time toggle the switch to “stolen” and the software would send me your location, your IP and MAC addresses, a screenshot of your desktop and a shot from your laptop’s webcam. It would do what it is programmed to do which can also be used for unfair purposes. As an inexpensive (understand: FREE) laptop theft tracking software, Prey is amazing. You will just have to take care of notifying authorities on your own. You will get info, but Prey doesn’t have the resources to do anything with that info on your behalf, unlike LoJack for Laptops, for example. More info on

Phoenix FailSafe – I was told about Phoenix FailSafe by Samsung representative after I have reported my laptop theft to them. Failsafe is apparently routinely installed nn most Dell and Samsung computers, but because Q320 is such a new model, FailSafe was not on it (and still is not). It does look like a useable solution. Similar to LoJack for Laptops, FailSafe operates at BIOS layer making it operational as soon as the computer starts executing first instructions, rather than after the operating system has been loaded and is more resistant to software and hardware removal. Because FailSafe operates on BIOS level, it can safely and securely disable the computer and lock the hard drive. I have not used FailSafe because my machine didn’t come pre-installed with it, but it appears to be pretty solid and near fool-proof. When I get myself a replacement laptop, I will be looking at this option more closely. Additional info on

EDIT – it appears as though FailSafe service cannot be purchased. It can only be had if it’s part of the new computer you are buying. Select Dell Notebooks and Samsung Go Netbooks come with it and can have the feature activated for $39.95 for 1 year or $79.95 for 3 years. It’s a solid solution that resides in computer BIOS and will not stop working on your behalf even if thief replaced hard drives with new operating system, but inability to have it on any laptop limits its usability. Perhaps Phoenix will offer an option to have it installed on any computer soon.

Mark Down Laptop’s Info

Always have vital information about your laptop at a place easily accessible to you. The best bet is to email it to your web based email address so you can access it from any computer that’s connected to the internet and find it there if needed. You will need at least model name and number and a serial number. Additional information, such as screen size, RAM memory, HDD size, when it was purchased, etc could also be helpful.

Buy Laptop Lock

Laptop Locks are fairly inexpensive cables that can be securely fastened to most laptops (I have not seen any new laptop without a Kensington Security Slot for a Laptop Lock). The other end of the cable you can secure either against something stationary (a desk for example) or something large, such as your bag which will make it more difficult to sneakily steal it. It’s a small investment but a big help and a possible buster of all laptop theft attempts when dealt with properly.

Use Full Disk Encryption

Having your hard drive encrypted is not a costly matter and is not difficult at all. Stolen laptops often end up with replaced hard drivers or get the original hard driver formatted but thief may attempt to read the data on a removed hard drive first to see if any interesting information that could help him come by your money can be found there. Full Disc Encryption cannot get you your data back, but it can prevent the thief from easily reading it. At least you’d know that they can’t access everything you had on your hard drive even if you can’t get it back.

Don’t Take Your Eyes Off Your Laptop

This is the single most important laptop theft prevention tip in existence. This was the reason why the thief who stole my laptop succeeded with it – I had my laptop on the rear seat while I was driving. It was off my sight while I had my eyes locked on the road. This creates suitable conditions for both opportunist thieves as well as pros that are always on a look out for something available to steal (like the one who stole my laptop). Due to slick, flat design of laptops, they can be easily and quickly snuck inside a bag and will not stick out to be easily noticed once there. They are plain and simple easy targets for theft. Never ever take your eyes off your laptop or when you go back to lend your eyes on it, it may not be there anymore. Disguise your laptop as much as you can and if possible, don’t allow others to see you have it in the first place. If you need to use it in a public place, make sure you use Laptop Lock (see above) and have it fastened to something stationary. In case like mine – if you are driving, have your laptop locked against the door handle and if possible, lock it in the trunk where no one can get. If you can’t have your laptop firmly in your hands or in your sight, make sure it is locked up safely.

Don’t Use Laptop Cases for Your Laptop

Using non descriptive bags will not raise alarms in thieves’ eyes that you have a laptop on you. If you walk around with a carrying case designed for laptops, especially if it’s a brand name case which bears a name of a laptop manufacturer instantly identifies you as a person with a laptop and thieves will have their eyes locked on you and will wait for the right moment to steal.

Use Privacy Sweeping Software

Install and regularly use privacy sweeping software to hide traces of your online activities. I have been using free to install and use Advanced System Care from IObit and have been very happy with it. It speeds up your computer and can prevent crashes, but it will also remove traces of your on line activities so if unlucky event of laptop theft befalls on you, the thieves won’t have full access to what you have done on line, which sites you have visited and what log in names you used since you started using the laptop. It’s easy and free to install IObit utility and it does a great job. More info and download on

I hope these Laptop Theft Prevention Tips were helpful. The best advice I can give you is that you learn from my mistake and take preventative measures to ensure that laptop theft doesn’t happen to you. Also take preventative measures so when it does happen to you, so you can maximize your chances of laptop recovery or deletion of sensitive data. According to the FBI statistics, a laptop is stolen every 53 seconds in the USA alone and less than 3% are recovered. Imagine what it’s like on a worldwide scale. Laptop theft is obviously a popular one and hard to revert, yet laptops are devices that bear some of the most important and most sensitive information. Guard them with care and take all steps necessary to prevent laptop theft. Tips provided within are offered with best intentions to help you avoid the same hell I had to and still have to go through because I have neglected some of those. Laptop theft is horrible, learn from these tips and apply them to avoid this crap.

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.