Schools are one of the top locations where laptops and other mobile devices are stolen. This is only increasing as laptops become more prevalent in schools, both in k-12 and at university and college campuses. But most students don’t think about the dangers of bringing their laptop, tablets and other electronic devices to school. So what steps do you take to protect student (or staff) laptops or other mobile devices? Follow the tips below to minimize the chances of laptop theft.
10 Tips to Keep Your Laptop Safe
- Never leave a laptop unattended. This sounds like common sense, but with all the social action that takes place in classrooms and around campus it’s likely to happen at one time or another. If you’re studying in the library or in the cafeteria, have a friend monitor your laptop—never trust a stranger and never leave your laptop out in the open.
- Keep laptops in a secure, hidden place.Is there a safe, designated spot in your classroom to store devices? This is a perfect place to store your laptop, especially if it's secured with a locked. Most thieves are in and out in fewer than 60 seconds, so if they can’t find your laptop, odds are they won’t be able to steal it.
- Lock doors and windows when you’re not in the room. Even if you’re just stepping down the hall, it only takes a few seconds for someone to swipe your laptop. Better safe than sorry.
- Use a discrete laptop case. Use with a regular backpack or a tote instead of a laptop case. The conventional laptop case is a huge indicator to thieves that you’re carrying expensive merchandise.
- Never leave your laptop in your vehicle. A thief won’t hesitate to break your vehicle’s window to steal your laptop. Take your laptop with you when you lock up your car. If you have to leave your laptop in the car, put it in the trunk or out of sight.
- Buy a laptop cable lock. Even though they can be broken into, locking mechanisms force potential thieves to think twice before stealing your laptop. If they have to try too hard, they will pass your laptop up for an easier target.
- Personalize your laptop’s looks. A laptop that stands out in a crowd is less attractive to a thief, so use laptop skins or stickers to give your laptop a one-of-a-kind look. Doing this also makes it harder for the thief to resell your laptop, so most will pass it up. While you are personalizing, don’t forget to put some contact info on it in case it’s simply lost rather than stolen.
- Write down your laptop’s serial number. If your laptop is ever stolen, you’ll be able to provide this information to the authorities to aid in their search.
- Use secure passwords and update them regularly. The best passwords use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. Avoid using common password types such as your name, birth date or something else a thief could easily guess. Secure passwords are extremely important because it’s not just the hardware and software costs that make your laptop valuable. Stored information like your social security number, credit card number and social networking profile information can make you a target for identity theft.
- Promote the Absolute Safe Schools Program within your school. With this program, we help educate students and staff about common risk scenarios and how to avoid them. If a device is stolen, our Absolute Investigations team will work with your local law enforcement to recover the device, saving you time and money.
To promote a safe school environment for students and faculty, our Absolute Safe Schools program can help you educate users about device safety, teaching students and staff how to avoid scenarios where they may be at risk through best practices and responsible behavior. Deliver a positive message to your community by demonstrating public trust and accountability.