Saturday, October 11, 2008
You need to keep an eye on your laptop. If you take it out of the house, make sure the bag is closed all the way, zipped shut. It is easy for a thief to swipe your laptop out of your bag on the street or subway if they can see it. Then, as you go throughout your day make sure you keep the strap over your shoulder opposite the side of you body. This makes it much harder for a thief to snatch it from you. If you place it on the ground while paying for coffee or at the airport ticket counter make sure you place it between your legs and squeeze your ankles around it.
When go out to get some work done and you set your laptop up at a coffee shop, be sure to use a laptop security cable. Attach it to anything you can. It doesn't have to be attached to the building or floor, as long as it's noticeable. A thief is not going to drag a chair out of the coffee shop and down the street.
You need to attach the lock as soon as you sit down as you don't know when you are going to have to get up quickly to run to the bathroom, or to get more sugar or another coffee.
If you make it a habit of locking your laptop every time you take it out, you are much less likely to be a victim of theft.
This includes locking it at the office and at home. You would be surprised at how many laptops get swiped from desks in large office towers during lunch when there are not many people around. And if your house should happen to get broken into, the TV can be replaced, and you can live without it for a day or two, but if your laptop is taken, then all your work, documents and pictures etc.. are gone!
Even if you are smart enough to back up, the odds are that you didn’t back up the minute before your laptop is stolen so you are going to be out some data.
Then there is the downtime, now you have to spend half a day computer shopping, arguing with the insurance company buying and installing new software (the cost may not be covered by insurance) and not to mention that your deductible may be too high to even bother making a claim.
On top of that, you may end up struggling with a new operating system that you are not familiar with for weeks, and dealing with loosing all your settings and bookmarks.
A lot of people say “my laptop is old, I hope someone steals it!”… We all would like to get a newer faster laptop, but you don’t need to be “forced” into a new upgrade in the middle of working on a new project.
Then this all leads to the data on your laptop. You could have personal information on your laptop including names, address, Social Insurance Numbers or Social Security Numbers, credit card numbers, bank accounts, medical information, legal information etc…
The privacy laws will hold YOU responsible for the damages those people receive. If fraud is committed against someone because you lost your laptop with their information, if they lose money or their credit is damaged, then you are responsible for their loss.