The best ways to secure your laptop
Laptops- along with mobile phones and jewellery – fall into that rare category of items that are both small and valuable, making them easy and attractive to steal. Keeping your laptop safe from thieving hands is often a difficult task, but with a little vigilance and a few small investments, you can help to keep your laptop (and other valuables) safe from harm.
The first thing to remember is that most thefts are opportunistic. Thieves see an unattended item, an easy way to leave the scene without drawing too much attention, and they just go for it. Often, they may see the item sitting unattended, in the same place, at the same time, every single day; eventually, the temptation gets too high, and they strike.
Think about it; how often have you heard the phrase “I leave my door open all the time and I’ve never had anything stolen” or “I leave my bag at the table here every time I go to the toilet, and nobody’s ever taken it.”? Don’t be naïve enough to believe that just because it’s never happened before, it won’t happen at all. There could be a potential thief eyeing up your valuables, and your habits right now.
So, first things first; keep your items out of view. Even in your house; don’t leave your laptop lying out on the sofa or the table, put it in a (preferably lockable) drawer. If you’re travelling, you might be sharing a hostel room. In this instance, it’s not enough to simply shove your laptop under your bed and assume it will be safe; lock it away in a secure lock box, ideally with your own padlock.
Don’t think that covering your laptop with a blanket or a pillow is enough, it’s not only poor cover for your laptop, but you also run the risk of sitting or stepping on it.
Secondly, invest in a slash-proof laptop bag and small metal padlock for the zips. This massively helps to reduce incidents of theft. Invest in a bag with thick padding, as this will provide additional protection against accidents and clumsy baggage handlers.
If you’re travelling, hostels and hotels often offer a luggage storage room. These are rarely well guarded, and can be a hot bed for theft (especially for small items). If you must use one of these, make sure your laptop is not only within its bag and locked away, but locked inside a larger bag or suitcase; this not only adds another layer of protection, but makes it much more cumbersome for a thief to steal your stuff. My advice however would be to keep your laptop bag with you all times until your hostel/hotel can check you in; they’re not particularly heavy, and it’s just not worth the worry.
In conclusion, the best protection against theft is simply to be vigilant. Don’t get complacent and assume that nothing bad will happen. I’ve met many thieves in my time, and some of them were not only good friends, but people I’d consider to be genuinely honest; in short, don’t advertise your belongings to thieves through carelessness.