Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tips on Securing Your Laptop

In the past few months, there is a series of posts at PhilMUG, that reports stolen laptops. Current PhilMUG chairman elbert took the initiative to post some tips on how to prevent laptop theft.

Here are some of the tips from his thread:

- Securing your data:
1. Go into System Preferences > Accounts and make sure you have a password
2. Go into System Preferences > Security and check the following boxes:
• Require Password to wake this computer from sleep or screen saver
• Disable automatic login

- Securing your laptop:
1. Use a nondescript bag to carry and hide your Mac. There are bags that are obviously laptop bags, avoid those at all costs. An Apple logo on the bag doesn't help either.

2. Never let your laptop or your laptop bag out of your sight. When in a public space like a café, take the laptop with you when going to the restroom or when picking up coffee at the counter.

3. As much as possible, deploy a cable lock.

4. Avoid leaving your laptop in a car. In case you have to:

a. do not leave the laptop or its bag in plain sight. Hide it in the trunk, or slip the unit under the seat. Thieves will not bother breaking into a car that looks empty. Even shopping bags attract their attention.

b. Make sure your car doors are locked and windows shut.

c. try to park in an area that's well-lit and highly visible.

d. if you're going to watch a movie, make sure not to park in an area obviously used by movie-goers only

e. vans with sliding windows are the most broken into. Never leave valuables in L300s and the like.

5. Do not leave your laptop in the office overnight, especially over the weekend. No matter how secure your office may be, there's a big chance for someone to take it when no one is looking

6. Use the hotel safe.

7. When flying, do not check your laptop in with your luggage

8. In airports, do not let your laptop bag into the X-ray machine until you are sure you have a clear path through the metal detectors.

9. Keep your laptop's whereabouts in the top of your mind.
Although the tips shown above are posted on the Macintosh users group, all those tips are also applicable to non-Apple laptop users.

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