Your notebook is not just an expensive piece of hardware – it also contains your personal information, confidential office documents, log of websites that you have visited recently and so much more that a theft or even an accidental loss could put you at some serious risk.
And do not estimate laptop theft as a rare phenomenon. Some estimates suggest that a laptop is stolen every minute and most of them are never recovered.
While travelling or attending a conference, the easiest option to secure your laptop against theft is to put in the case and carry it on your shoulders all the time. Treat the laptop like the cash in your wallet and never leave it unattended even when you are just taking a short break for the restroom or the coffee vending machine.
Now that’s the most ideal approach but not a practical one – would you disconnect the power cord, network cable and external mouse and place the laptop back in the bag just because you want to quickly grab a glass of drinking water from the pantry next door or pick another book from the library bookshelf?
In such situations, an extremely useful utility is LaptopAlarm. It’s like an anti-theft siren that rings (using the in-built speakers of the laptop) when someone tries to logoff or shutdown the machine or removes the charging AC power cord or unplugs the external mouse attached to your laptop.
Laptop Alarm (syfer.nl) is Windows only but MacBook owners can get the free iAlertU utility (ialertu.com) that will even capture the photograph of the thief using the inbuilt webcam and send it to any email address. Just make sure these screaming alarms don’t ring inadvertently else that can put you in an embarrassing situation.
Laptops and other portable devices are frequently lost (stolen or misplaced) in hotel rooms, libraries, airport security counters, coffee shops and taxis. If you are frequent traveler, consider getting an insurance cover for your notebook. They will atleast cover cost of the laptop incase of theft, accidental damage or misplacement.