When we are victims of the theft of our laptops, we usually despair because not only does the loss of our equipment hurt us. But the greatest disgust is because of the valuable documents, programs, and pending tasks stored on our personal computers. however you can prevent your laptop from being theft by just taking care about some points.
Before the situation of laptop theft, the phrase of popular wisdom, “better be safe than sorry”, prevails more than ever. We must take some preventive measures against possible theft of our laptop, long before it happens. Based on the fact that a laptop is a valuable object, and due to its portable nature, it always runs the risk of being stolen.
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The most common ways that a thief can steal your Laptop
- Can take your laptop from the car
- Can steal it from your office
- From the library
- From the public places
Preventive measures to keep in mind
First, we must start by protecting our important documents, making backup copies, preferably daily. Now the Cloud makes our task a little easier. In addition to being comfortable and affordable from anywhere. It also reduces the cost that it would represent if it did not exist.
It is necessary to write down the brand, model, service tag, serial numbers of our laptop. And keep this data in a safe place to be able to track our laptop in case of possible theft. The most important thing is to take the same precautions that we usually take for any type of valuable item. This needs to be keep in mind if you don’t want anyone to steal your laptop. If despite everything, the worst happens to us, our laptop turns out to be stolen, there are some tips that can be followed to make its recovery possible.
Possible recovery tips
The first thing is to file a report for theft or loss with the police, providing the serial numbers that we have noted down and saved. Many insurances also require a police report as a requirement for any claim.
The increase in laptop theft is a motivating thing to users in installing security systems to track the equipment. There are laptop monitoring apps, many of which you can download from the internet for free. These programs serve to track the laptop in case of theft, allowing it to be located wherever it is.
There are several types of software that can use to track a stolen laptop. It allows you to manage that laptop remotely. Such as activating the computer’s webcam, taking photos and videos of the person who is using it. And sending that data to an email or website previously assigned apps like Prey , LoJack can be very helpful in this regard.
Keep in mind that in order to track a stolen laptop, you must have these applications previously installed. And the thief must at some point connect to the Internet network with the same computer for these programs to run. We should also hope that the laptop thief is not a hacker or computer literate. And takes more precautions than usual, or suspects that we may be watching them.
In addition to the applications, we recommend that you obtain the MAC address of the laptop’s network devices along with the other serial numbers mentioned above. The Mac address turns out to be a bit more secure than the aforementioned applications. In case the thief is a bit careful since, in order to change the MAC address, he would have to physically replace several devices on the computer. Some will prove useless to do, since they would incur more expenses. He would have to be an unusual and somewhat paranoid thief.
The MAC address (Media Access Control) is a unique identifier of the laptop’s network card or device. It is represented as a series of 12 hexadecimal digits grouped in pairs. By network device, we understand both wired and wireless that allows the laptop to connect to the internet network. That is, the wi-fi card has its mac address, the network card with RJ45 output also has another mac address.
The role of MAC address
In most cases, one or the other cards are integrated into the laptop motherboard. They are not removable, which would mean changing the entire motherboard to prevent the stolen equipment from being tracked, or performing a mac spoofing every time you connect to the internet.
This is good news for the owner of the stolen laptop, given the fact that the motherboard is the most expensive part of the laptop. However, here too the prevention factor prevails. Having the MAC addresses of the laptop’s network devices in a safe place can help with its recovery.
However, here too the owner of the stolen laptop needs a bit of luck, lest the thief is either a hacker or paranoid. Since there is also a way to modify the MAC address that identifies the network interface. Or better said, mask it, make it show another mac address different from the one that the devices physically have. This process we can call MAC spoofing.
To locate the MAC address of your laptop, using Windows: Open DOS command, from the Start Menu, then Run, then type “ cmd ”, without the quotes. Enter the command ipconfig /all or getmac. Identify the “Wireless Network Connections” section. Identify the value of “physical address”, this is the MAC address of all network devices that are installed on your laptop.
If you’re using Linux or Mac OS X, use the command ifconfig -a. As we have just seen, the best protection against laptop theft is just like anything else of value: prevention and care. Do not leave the equipment in an exposed place.
Never leave your laptop in the car, or lose sight of it in public places. You can also use a slot where you can connect a cable. This cable can work as a security cable which won’t allow anyone to remove it. And most importantly have mindful attention to your environment so that no one would be able to steal it from you.
It is much better not to have to try any of the above methods. But rather the way to prevent the theft of your laptop.
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