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Laptop security

04 April 2012, 15:08 Dennis Ochande

Laptop computers have been targeted by thieves all over the world, because they are valuable, small and easy to hide, portable and there is a ready market.

A stolen laptop can be sold to an unsuspecting individual or used computer stores at half of its value in cash.

While many think that the only cost incurred when a laptop is stolen is replacement, other losses are evident. The cost of installed software and the cost of time lost for the owner while the computer is being replaced. A greater cost is incurred when one had been issued with the laptop by an employer and it had classified information about the organization!

The Kenya Police advices laptop owners to never leave laptops in unlocked vehicles or carry them in descript carrying cases because this is an immediate alert to thieves that one has a laptop.

Application of distinctive paint markings makes ones laptop unique and easily identifiable in case it gets stolen.

When breaking or going for lunch at a meeting or conference, do not leave your laptop behind. It is also advisable not to let unaccompanied strangers to wander around in your workplace and keep hawkers away from your offices.

For the safety of your data, back up your information on disks and store them at home or the office. Never check laptops as luggage at the airport when flying because they can disappear.

To prevent laptop theft, a variety of technologies can be used

Two-way wireless security alarms can be installed on the computer itself and a remote key-chain device. If the alarm detects movement, it first checks whether you are nearby, if not, your key-chain remote is alerted, emitting a "chirp".

Another type of alarm works by setting up a security perimeter for the laptop. Moving the laptop beyond the perimeter sets off an alarm, locks keys to encrypted files, and disables the computer, making it useless to unauthorized users.

Generally, if a theft does occur, you must report it to the police promptly. Users should have the make, model, and serial number available so police can file a complete report and log the stolen laptop information.

If you have backed up all your data, all will not be lost for you. If you have sensitive and confidential information in your data, consider using encryption software.

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