Laptop Thieves Can Steal Your Sanity (And Your Data)

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Having your car stolen is just plain ridiculous. Insurance claims, police reports, and sudden reliance on the bus system can get old in a hurry. Typically, you will be able to get insurance money to buy a different car. The real hassle is replacing all of the things you had stored inside the car — CDs, golf clubs, school books, and your gym clothes.

Reconstructing your life after grand theft auto can be a nightmare.

Now imagine your car has every photo you own, your entire music collection, your personal journal, your financial information, and a good portion of your work documents. That would be a disaster, right?

When your laptop is stolen — and I’m not saying that yours will be — you lose all of the things listed above ... and your sanity.

A few simple steps will ensure that your laptop and its important contents are kept safe.

First, you need to physically protect your machine. If you use your laptop in a public or semi-public place, be sure to tether it to a desk or table. Criminals know that unsuspecting laptop users sometimes let their guard down and will strike immediately.

Another way to physically protect your machine is by installing proper firewalls and anti-virus measures. Even if a thief can’t get his hands on your machine, he may be able to empty its contents from a distance. Update your system security measures frequently, and remember to change your password often, too.

Sometimes stolen laptops make their way into the hands of law-abiding citizens or law enforcement officials. Having a label on your laptop will enable the good guys to get it safely back to you. Companies like www.stuffbak.com make it easy for you to label electronics and register your information. For a small fee, they will take care of the recovery details.

The ultimate “label” for your laptop is a LoJack system. Just like the system that helps find a stolen car, this laptop version can locate and/or disable a stolen machine. For an annual fee, LoJack will install software that will keep an eye on your laptop.

Just like in the car situation, the real headaches come from replacing what is inside. Your valuable files are irreplaceable. Whether they are stolen via a laptop heist or destroyed by a hacker, computer file loss is catastrophic.

The only way to ensure that your data will be protected is by using a secure backup system. The best way is by using an online backup server to duplicate your files. Another way is to set up an external hard drive and keep your files safely behind locked doors.

Computer Problem Specialists is available to help you develop a security system for your laptop. We can offer our help in every area; from free checkups and virus scans to comprehensive backup/recovery plans. Call us at (928) 468-0000 today to speak with a technician.

Take the steps necessary to protect your valuable information. The content inside your laptop is much more valuable than the machine itself. These simple steps will save you a lot of grief. Oh yeah — and make sure you take your golf clubs out of your trunk today.

Daniel Taft is the senior network administrator and member/owner of Computer Problem Specialists, LLC with a degree in applied computer science. His career spans more than 20 years.

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