What do I do if my laptop is stolen?
your laptop stolen can be a terrifying experience. Considering what we keep on
them these days, someone else could potentially gain access to your whole life.
to research, a laptop is stolen every 53 seconds. Figures from the Metropolitan
Police suggest the vast majority are stolen from bars or public transport. The
best thing to do is to try and stop theft happening in the first place. When
out and about, always ensure your laptop is in sight or use a laptop lock to
secure it to a table.
theft does happen. It only takes seconds for someone to grab your laptop
without you noticing.
What do I do if my
laptop is stolen?
- Alert the police! Use the non-emergency number 101 and you will
receive a crime number
- Alert your insurance company. Your laptop may be covered under
your buildings and contents policy. However, sometimes the insurer will not pay
out on a home and buildings policy or if the laptop has been used for work
- The police also advise checking the immediate area in case items
have been dumped locally
- If the computer belongs to your employer, let them know
immediately so any security checks can be put into action
- Log in to any sensitive accounts and change your password. In
addition, remotely log out from any sites you may have kept logged in
- If you have used your laptop for online banking or shopping, contact
your bank to ask if the account can be monitored
will also need to protect yourself from identity theft if there were personal
emails on your laptop. The fraud prevention agency CIFAS offers an identity
protection service for £20 a year. A warning flag will be put on your details on the
National Fraud Database so they can be alert to anyone trying to do something
in your name
your computer manufacturer so they can make a note in their database that the
computer has been stolen, in case the thief tries calling support
What can I do to prevent future theft?
When you do
replace your laptop, it’s time to take action and protect yourself from future
- Create a strong login
password that must be entered every time you switch your laptop on or the
screensaver is activated. Check how strong your password is using websites such
as Microsoft’s Password Strength Checker
- If you carry your
laptop with you, do not allow websites to remember passwords
- Encrypt your hard drive
using services such as Microsoft Bitlocker software or Apple’s FileVault. You
can also register with services so that if a stolen item is recovered, it may
be returned to you
- Use an external hard drive to back up documents and photographs
to keep data loss to a minimum. Make it a habit and don’t store items you don’t
need on your laptop
laptop theft is very common. Don’t make it any easier for thieves than it
already is. If you protect your passwords, back up your documents and keep
files in order, it will be much easier for you in the long run should the worst
happen. Be ready and alert to theft!