IT | Security

Laptop Security in Libraries

By: Absolute Team | 9/11/2009

September marks the return to school for many people - either to high school or university. The reality of school these days is that many - if not most - students will now have laptops. And a student may find his or herself spending time studying in the library with that laptop. So, how can you keep it safe?

Presumably, you already have Computrace LoJack for Laptops installed. In the event that your laptop is stolen, we can help recover it. Of course, you want to prevent that theft to begin with, so let's look at some tips for that.

Basic Library Laptop Security Tips

  • Permanently mark the exerior of your laptop with your contact information - this may deter thieves, since it makes resale more difficult
  • Choose a good laptop lock, and make sure you attach your laptop to a permanent fixture
  • Have a study buddy - that way, if either one of you needs to get up, the other can watch the laptops & bags.
  • Choose a non-obvious laptop bag - a backpack may not be as obvious to thieves that a laptop is inside. However, opportunistic thieves may take an unattended bag, regardless of its contents
  • Don't leave your laptop unattended at your feet in a bag. If you should become distracted or fall asleep (hey, it happens!), it becomes too easy for someone to take the bag
  • Have other security measures in place, such as a laptop alarm and encryption
  • If using public wireless connections, be wary of what kind of information - and passwords - could be made available to others! This item is not so much about physical theft, but it can't hurt to re-iterate its importance.

There is NO foolproof method of securing your laptop if you leave it unattended. The ONLY way to prevent theft is to take your laptop with you anytime you leave your work station - to get a book, to talk to someone or to use the washroom. It is a hassle, but it's worth it!

These same tips would apply any time you're out in a public place - be it around the school, in a cafe, or anywhere else. The only difference with the library is that a library may "feel" more safe - because of the secluded study areas. However, in reality, these private study areas make it much easier for someone to walk up and steal your laptop unnoticed if it's left unattended.