7 Things You Should Do Before & After Your Laptop Is Stolen

Considering that laptops are designed to be easily carried and stowed away — and considering just how much important personal and financial information is often stored on them — it’s no surprise that they’re such a target for thieves. But there are some simple things you should do now in case it’s stolen in the future.

Jake Guidry over at Chicagoist recently found himself the victim of laptop larceny and compiled this list of essential tips:

• Have Serial Number and Receipt On File — this will be necessary to prove you are the rightful owner.

• Backup Your Hard Drive — This goes for all computers. Everyone takes for granted just how much they rely on the stored bits and bytes… and just how quickly they can disappear.

• Install Tracking Software — Guidry suggest LoJack, which will help authorities find your computer and (for Mac users) Orbicule, which turns on the iSight camera to record the thieves in action.

And in the sad situation that your laptop is taken, here are some steps you should take to improve your odds of getting it back:

• File A Report With Your Laptop Manufacturer — This could be helpful if some unwitting recipient of your laptop attempts to get it repaired by the manufacturer. It’s worth a shot, right?

• File a Police Report — Make sure you have the serial number so they’ll know they’ve found your computer.

• Call the Pawn Shops — Even if they haven’t bought your stolen computer off the thieves, they might remember someone trying to sell them one.

• Check Online Marketplaces — Ebay and Craigslist are occasionally used to unload stolen goods. And you never know, sometimes you’ll actually find your stuff!

There are obviously many more things we can do to protect our personal property and data. Leave suggestions in the comments!

The Case Of The Missing Laptop: Precautionary Measures And How To Track It Down [Chicagoist]