One of the most common questions that IT support companies get from their customers is “What do I do if my computer is stolen?
One of the biggest problems with computers is the fact that they are a very convenient way to get information fast and easily. Unfortunately, if your computer is stolen, it can also be really expensive.
IT and tech support is advancing rapidly and there are a few basic precautions you can take like installing a tracking app and also purchasing laptop insurance to protect you financially but it is still a huge inconvenience.
Some of the security actions you can take if your laptop is stolen are listed below:
- Change your passwords on all your accounts, starting with your email. Be sure to update passwords on bank accounts, social networks, and messaging platforms like Whatsapp.
- File a police report and inform your company if the laptop is used for work.
- Monitor your bank accounts and put out a fraud alert.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
Prevention is almost always better than cure so please take time to review the points below on how you can protect your data so that if your laptop is stolen it becomes more of an inconvenience than a disaster.
Specialised tracking software can be installed on your laptop that can help locate, close down, and recover your stolen device. What’s more, the software is very difficult for thieves to detect and almost impossible for them to remove. Depending on the solution, the software can be a one-time cost per device or a yearly fee. Either way, it will undoubtedly be a fraction of the cost of purchasing a new laptop and installing all necessary software (without considering the added cost of lost data).
Save important and personal documents to a Cloud Storage solution such as Google Drive or Dropbox instead of directly on your laptop. This will help to prevent situations such as identity fraud as a thief won’t be able to access or download anything important.
Be careful and vigilant when you are out and about. The increase in remote working has also brought with it an increase in laptop theft unfortunately as more and more people are carrying laptops with them to cafe’s, restaurants, co-working spaces and even on public transport like buses and trams. There are many opportunities for thieves to take advantage of so you need to remain aware at all times.
Forgetting Your Device
Also, don’t invite thieves and chance takers by accidentally forgetting your device somewhere like in a taxi or leaving it on the table while you go to the toilet. As much as we want to believe that the world is a safe place and people are trustworthy, this often isn’t the case at all and it’s much better to be safe than sorry.
If your laptop has been stolen then an IT professional may be able to help you change passwords and log out of any active sessions if you are not sure how to do this.
Unless the laptop has active tracking software installed then it will be very difficult for anyone to help you track it. However, if you have made a note of the serial number of your laptop then this will give the police a much greater chance of finding it.