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Monday August 25, 2014 10:54 am

4 Ways to Protect Yourself from Laptop Theft

laptop macbook stolen

As we close out Device Theft Awareness Month, we wanted to talk about laptop security. We've already covered the device theft statistics, alongside a bunch of ways to protect yourself from smartphone theft. Some may argue that notebooks are even more of a danger to lose than a smartphone, due to the vast amount of personal data stored on them that can be lost or fall into the wrong hands, as well as the cost of replacement. Let's talk about some of the ways to protect both your investment and your data.

1. Password protect your computer. Regardless of whether you use a PC, Mac, or Linux, you have the option of settings up a lock screen barrier where you'll need to enter a password, custom swipe, image touch, or other secure option. It's a small step that some may find to be an annoyance, but it's an easy (and free) first line of defense in case someone is able to snatch up your device.

2. Use encryption to protect sensitive data. You can buy programs for Windows and apps for Mac that allow you to put more sensitive files and data behind a second, encrypted layer of protection. The way this help is that, if someone were able to get through your password and to your desktop, they'd need a second password to access this data. You can even hide it from the file system to make it even more difficult to get to for nefarious people. If you don't want to spend money and use a Mac, you can even use the built-in FileVault feature.

3. Back up your data regularly. Ah, backups. So necessary, yet the majority of folks simple don't do it due to the cost or inconvenience (or both.) The truth is, backing up your data can help even when your laptop fails--so it's not just for theft or loss. Of course, if you do lose your notebook, you'll have copies of everything important. As a Mac owner, I have my computers set to back up hourly using the built-in Time Machine feature. This way I know that, no matter what happens, I have a duplicate copy of everything.

4. Use a recovery service like Absolute LoJack. This is the biggie right here. After getting familiar with the Absolute LoJack for laptops product, I can say that I am a fan of the protection it offers. I mean, even if a thief decides to wipe your hard drive, or swaps it out, the Absolute LoJack software is still keeping an eye on it and tracking it. That is just incredible. You get all the other great Absolute LoJack features as well, which include locating the laptop, locking it remotely, remote data wipe, and recovery with an optional guarantee that you'll get it back within 60 days or get money to help pay for a replacement. You can save 30% on the cost of Absolute LoJack through the end of the month.

What's your strategy for keeping your laptop safe? If you want to see how you measure up, take this laptop safety quiz and see your results!

You can get 30% off Absolute LoJack Standard and Premium subscriptions through August 31st by using promo code UNCOVER30 during checkout. We want to thank Absolute LoJack for sponsoring Device Awareness Month here at Gear Live, and for providing us with an evaluation copy of its software.

What do you do to protect yourself from a possible smartphone or tablet theft? Do you err on the side of caution, or do you opt for convenience and just hope for the best? Take this quiz and find out how secure your phone is!

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