“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” – Benjamin Franklin
Is there important stuff on your laptop, phone, and devices? What would you lose if your they were stolen?
Follow this checklist now and take action to set yourself up for success if you lose your computer due to theft, accident, or a series of other unfortunate events.
Don’t let bad guys into your computer
- Password protect your computer and devices.
- Use best practices for password creation – for computer and device, as well as all accounts requiring password.
- Use two-step or multi-factor authentication (ex: verification code sent to your cell via text)
- Maintain your password list in a secure location.
- Make sure a trusted loved one knows where to find it in case the worst happens.
- OR – use a password manager so you can login to one account and change all passwords with a click
- Consider what you’re storing on the hard drive of your computer/device. How would you access it if someone snagged your laptop, or you dropped it on the tile?
Keep your data somewhere besides your computer
One solution: backup to an external hard drive
Pros: one-time cost, some control of the location of the information
Problems: requires manual connection so you must remember to do it consistently, securely storing hard drive from theft, fire, other loss, easy to steal
Another solution: use cloud storage with automatic file sync
Pros: automatic backup scheduled and done for you, can store online-only which reduces access if laptop is stolen and increases space on hard drive
Problems: finding a company you trust to be dependable, monthly/annual fees, storage limits, must be logged into wifi for the files to sync
*great tip: Google Photos – set up so it automatically backs up the photos on your phone
Keep serial numbers and receipts for all valuable items
- The police can track you stolen property and catch bad guys a lot easier if they have serial numbers. Have that information organized so it can be handed over quickly.
- When you file an insurance claim it’s WAY easier if you have documentation.
Hire a good IT Team
If a computer, laptop, or mobile device are used for business, make sure you hire a trusted IT services provider. We love working with the pros at ProBleu and are super grateful for what they’ve accomplished for us. If your IT provider *manages your machines* (you have to ask and pay for this), they will be able to help you and the police with tracking the computer and maybe even getting a photo of the thief.
Make sure to tell your IT team every time you get a new device.
You can certainly hire an IT services provider for your personal computer, and we recommend it! The cost is very low compared to the potential loss – think of all your personal info on your computer and what a thief could potentially access.
Physically protect your tech
An extra layer of physical protection, especially when traveling, is a good idea. Bags with padded pockets meant for laptops and devices are a must, but added security features – like anti-slash fabric and low profile but highly effective locks – can improve the chances your stuff (and identity) will remain safe.
If you do all this stuff, you can feel a little cozier knowing your identity, and all your digital files, will be safer. And you’ll enjoy a boost of confidence because, if bad stuff happens, it will just be an annoying hassle rather than a heart-breaking loss.
Let us know if this is helpful – we love to feed the positive feedback loop as often as possible!