Posted by: Bill & Gayle McCord | September 28, 2011

Tips for Avoiding & Handling Laptop Theft

Emily and Josh recently had their laptops stolen…They were sleeping upstairs and had forgotten to lock the back door.  Someone let himself in and took what he could…it took Josh and Emily a little while to figure out exactly what was gone: both laptops, Josh’s wallet, phone, and keys…which made them look outside to see..nothing.  No car.  They’re thankful they’re safe, but it was a hard week trying to replace everything and get it all worked out.  I am sharing Emily’s tips she shared on her blog in case they help you!

  • Lock your doors. It’s a no-brainer, really, but still a crucial step in protecting yourself against thieves.  This includes windows by the way.  Thieves wait for nice weather, hoping you’ll forget to close and lock your windows. They also look for homes with families- they know that parents forget to lock back doors after their kids go in and out all day {or kids forget to lock after they go back in}.
  • Back up your computer at least weekly. Back it up with an external hard drive that you keep in secure place, preferably somewhere different than your laptop so that it doesn’t get stolen, too.
  • Back up your work online. If you create lots of docs you’d like to save securely, try a program like Drop Box.  Josh uses it for his PhD thesis/dissertation and it’s an easy, fast way to back up his doctoral research online.
  • Install Covenant Eyes. This accountability program is fantastic for holding users accountable for where they go online.  Covenant Eyes is great for making sure no one strays where they shouldn’t.  An added bonus is that if a robber tries to go online, Covenant Eyes can track the IP address and possibly help the police recover the stolen laptop!
  • Invest in insurance. If you lose your stuff, you’ll wish you had.  Enough said.
  • Keep good records. This can be a hassle, but your insurance is worth very little if you can’t prove what you had and how much it cost.  Fortunately, Josh scanned in their laptop receipts and can prove exactly what they had.
  • Don’t let thieves rob you of an ergonomic work station. If all else fails and you have to get new laptops or accessories {even though they left Em’s wireless mouse I gave her, its usb port was still inserted, so it’s useless}, go ergonomic!  Just because you have to replace your equipment doesn’t mean you should downgrade…or even buy exactly what you had.  Take this time to assess what you need {and even don’t need} and make an ergonomic choice. Emily misses a full-sized keyboard and a wireless mouse.

Hopefully you can save yourself the trouble of a theft!

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