Laptop protection

Fellow PTB blogger J. Angelo Racoma writes in Forever Geek about laptop theft.  Unfortunately, the original artcle gave all the tips but didn’t specify the tools.  So consider this an addendum to two already excellent articles…
I’d say there are three major heartbreakers if you lose your laptop: you lose an expensive  piece of equipment, you lose valuable data, and you risk that your confidential data will be compromised.


The most effective, the simplest, and perhaps the most overlooked tool to prevent laptop theft is the laptop cable lock.  Always keep the cable lock with your laptop bag. Use it whenever you have to leave the laptop unattended.  It doesn’t matter if you leave it for just a few minutes, in a secure office, in a hotel room, in your car, LOCK IT.  A few minutes can save you thousands of bucks.

But disasters do happen.  If you lose your laptop, you lose valuable data that can be expensive, if not impossible, to recreate.  Imagine losing all your pictures, your downloaded music, your documents, your family videos.  The solution, which again is simple but is often overlooked, is to backup your data.  Backup solutions need not be expensive or complicated.  I use a free software tool called Allway Sync, which can be used to synchronize your hard disk with a USB drive.   It only copies the changed files so the syncing routine may not take too long.  I have an old hard disk that is in those enclosures that allow you to hook it up to a USB drive, and when I get home I simply plug the drive into the USB port and sync.
But laptops can also contain confidential and sensitive information.  I am sure you have heard the news of customer information that were compromised because of a lost laptop.  As a further safeguard, it is wise to encrypt the data in your laptop.  Fortunately, encryption need not be expensive nor complicated.   The absolute, ultimately best tool for encryption is Truecrypt, which I had raved about in a previous post.  This tool is simply amazing, completely intuitive, and almost transparent to the user.  Every single laptop owner should have this tool if you are keeping confidential or sensitive information on your laptop.

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  • So what happens when that cable is cut? o_O

    Is there an alarm to alert the owner all the way down to the lobby, not knowing his laptop’s on the way out of the hotel? o_O

  • It’s better than nothing

  • How do I freakin’ change my account here?

    I don’t use the website linked on my name. x_X

  • “mr soon to be nurse who’s into computers” –> here’s the link

  • more specifically, here

  • lol thanks.

  • DIGG away! 🙂

  • another tip:
    if you walk around/take public transport, put your laptop in a plain looking bag.

  • Tara

    I know that Truecrypt is a decent freeware but I wonder what your thoughts are about Digital Vault by StompSoft and similar software titles. To me these software seem to be more user friendly. I guess the point that I’m making is that not everyone is computer savvy and they may find using Truecrypt a little awkward, whereas commercial software is tailored toward ease of use or am I just over analyzing.

  • Digital vault seems ok as well. Except that it isn’t free like Truecrypt, nor is it open-source so you have to trust the word of its developers.

    Have you given Truecrypt a try?

  • Hey i’d like to add to this by giving a simple tip:
    Exercise the Battery – Do not leave a charged battery dormant for long periods of time. Once charged, you should use the battery at least once every two to three weeks. Also, do not let a Li-On battery completely discharge. (Discharging is only for older batteries with memory effects)
    If you re impressed and care to read more tips you could refer HERE. that s where i got it from!

  • thanks providing information regarding laptop protection.