It's 10:00 PM: Do You Know Where Your Laptop
If you use a laptop and have been lucky enough to avoid theft,
you're luckier than a quarter million people were in 1996. That year
265,000 laptops were stolen, 25% more than 1995. Regardless of who
paid for the computer, or if you have insurance, you must at least be
concerned about your data. For example, if you are one of the ISOs
lucky enough to have Heartland Bank provide you a laptop free of
charge for their Merchant Application Processing System, you have to
remember that your merchants' application data is in that machine,
and someone else has it.
might guess, the most theft-prone areas include airports, hotels,
cars, and restaurants. These are places where business travelers are
likely to be, arms laden with parcels, and distracted while trying to
navigate through unfamiliar territory.
Even with computer insurance and anti-theft technologies, the FBI
reports that 90% of all stolen computers are never retrieved. With
sales of laptops doubling in the past two years, that number has
nowhere to go but up.
What can you do to avoid being a victim of computer theft? Try the
First things first
As soon as you get home with your new computer, record the serial
number, model and make. Record it with the manufacturer and keep
records for yourself. Do not keep the records with the laptop.
An ounce of prevention
1. Back up your data. If your laptop is stolen, no
doubt the hardware loss will be terrible but it can be replaced. A
loss of data can be devastating to you and your company.
2. If you plan to purchase a cable or lock, find out if there is
one manufactured specifically for your brand and model.
3. When parking your car, take your laptop with you. Don't be
fooled into thinking the trunk is a safe option. If your laptop does
get stolen from your car, most companies won't cover the theft; don't
On the road again
1. On planes, keep the laptop under the seat. In the
overhead compartment it is vulnerable to damage and theft.
2. When traveling, especially in airports, don't turn your back on
your computer for a moment. Take it with you to the restroom,
restaurants, anywhere you go. If you are stopped at a metal detector,
ask the attendant to assure that your laptop is secure.
If you are the victim of theft
Having insurance may soften the trauma of theft. Some insurance
- Lititz Mutual Insurance Company
- Utica National Insurance
- RLI Insurance Co.
Ignore the instinct to call your employer first. First call the
police. Then call your office and the insurance company, and then
report it to the authorities where the theft occurred.