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Laptop Security Tips

Here are some sobering statistics on stolen laptops:

Laptops disappear from hotels, airports, offices, automobiles...the list goes on. Houses are broken into for their computers; not the hardware themselves but for the information on them. According to the FBI, only 3% are recovered.

Nearly all computers these days have a universal security slot (USS) which cable locks and laptop alarms can be attached. Do not discount a low-tech method, security labels - there are honest people out there. Biometric devices are a relatively new devices but work well in remembering username/passwords using your fingerprint instead of typing them in - a real time saver.

Theft Recovery

LoJack for Laptops is a recovery service that enables law enforcement to retrieve stolen laptops. When you use this service, software installed on your laptop works behind the scenes to silently and securely contact Absolute Software's Monitoring Center, and in case of theft, to report its location using any Internet connection. Should your laptop be stolen, Absolute Software's Recovery Team not only tracks its location but also partners with local law enforcement to recover and return your laptop to you. Computrace® LoJack® for Laptops Works! Over 90% of laptops located with our Computrace software are recovered.

  • Works with Windows 2000, XP, or Vista
  • Easy to install
  • Over 90% recovery rate

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Biometric Devices

Biometric devices, such as a fingerprint reader, are a good way to prevent unauthorized access to your laptop. A password manager is shipped with a biometric device; every time a username/password is required, you place your finger in the device and it takes care of the username/password. The first time you login to a site, the username/password are registered with the password manager. From then on, every time the site is visited, logon is via your fingerprint.

  • Attaches to USB port
  • Easy to set up
  • Usable either hand
  • Eliminate sign-in hassles
  • Uses your fingerprint as a login id

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Cable Locks

Cable locks are great for your laptop in public places. Just attach the cable to your laptop's universal security slot (USS) and a secure place like a pole. Just the fact that the laptop has a cable on it will deter most thieves as they will move on to easier targets.

If your laptop does not have a USS then buy a cable that attaches with an adhesive pad. While not as secure as using a USS, it still provides some security.
Make sure the lock is a good one. Tubular locks are preferred over tumbler locks since they are harder to pick.

While a cable lock may prevent a laptop from being stolen, external devices such as network cards and external drives are not protected.

  • Comes with cable, 2 keys, and a security lock
  • Good security for most public places
  • No screws, brackets, or glue to mount. Ready to go!
  • Attaches to the universal security slot on a laptop
  • Nothing to install - just attach the cable to USS and a secure place
  • Fits a PC or MAC
  • Works with any device having a USS - many of the new monitors, projectors, printers, docking stations, and tablet PCs

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Security Labels

Sometimes luck prevails and a lost laptop is found by a good person. A company called StuffBak offers inexpensive labels with a toll-free number, a website address and a reward for returning your computer.

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Laptop Alarms

Sometimes a cable lock is not practical so other means of security must be used. A good choice is a laptop alarm. Some alarms are designed to sound off when the laptop is carried 10 to 20 feet from the user while others are set off by merely moving the laptop.

  • The alarm plugs into any available USB port, and features a cable to be wrapped around a secure object, safely anchoring your computer.
  • If this cable is cut or disconnected, the alarm sounds.
  • Set the alarm with an activation key, turn the alarm off by reinserting the key.
  • Extend the cable length by adding a standard USB extension cable.

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If your Laptop is Stolen

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