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How to Protect Your Laptop from Theft

9 of 9 in Series: The Essentials of Buying a Laptop and Accessories

You can protect your laptop from a disastrous theft by taking a few precautions. Here are some helpful hints and suggestions on things you can do ahead of time to help prevent theft or recover your laptop if it goes missing.

  • Mark your laptop. It helps with the recovery of a stolen laptop if you've marked it by either engraving it or using a tamper-resistant asset tag. You can use an engraving tool to literally carve your name and contact information on your laptop, or even write your name inside the laptop, for example, on the back of some removable door, or inside the battery compartment. Use a Sharpie or other indelible marker.

  • Avoid using an obvious laptop carrying case. Instead, use a nondescript, soft laptop case or a backpack.

    Use a nondescript laptop case to deter potential thieves.
    Use a nondescript laptop case to deter potential thieves.
  • Register the laptop and its software. Be sure to send in your laptop's registration card, as well as the registration for any software you're using. If the laptop is then stolen, alert the manufacturer and software vendors. Hopefully, if someone using your stolen laptop ever tries to get the system fixed or upgraded, the company cares enough to help you locate the purloined laptop.

  • Be mindful of your environment. When you're out and about with your laptop, you must always be mindful of where it is and who could have access to it. For example, when you’re dining out, put the laptop in its case beneath the table. If you need to leave the table, either take the laptop with you or ask your friends to keep an eye on it for you.

  • Use your laptop’s universal security slot (USS). Your laptop should have a hole or slot into which you can connect a security cable.

    Any cable or security device threaded through the USS cannot be removed from the laptop; only the cable itself can be cut (or unlocked) to free the laptop.

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