Protection from losing your tech gear to enterprising people who have sticky fingers has sadly become very necessary. Whether it’s a difficult economy or a tough job market to blame, people often fall on the wrong side of the law when times become more difficult.
At this point, opportunistic theft carried out by people who don’t look the part at all (because they usually wouldn’t do that kind of thing) becomes a real risk. There’re also the roving gangs that steal to generate daily money for the group, so are more skilful at it.
To protect yourself, here are several tips to help keep your tech safe from theft.
1. Lock Everything Down
When you’re not using an app and you’ve already logged into it, go the extra step and log back out. Should anything happen to your device, it will be harder for the thief to access data stored inside the app. This is doubly so if the app encrypts customer data as it should, or it’s held in the cloud where a login is required to access the information through their secure app. Going out? Put the computer into locked mode.
With a smartphone, don’t roam around while it’s unlocked all day. Unlock it, do what you need to do and then lock it once more. Whether using a PIN, a pattern, a Face ID unlock or a fingerprint sensor unlocking system, these don’t help if the phone is unlocked too long.
2. Engage Tracking Software Before You Need It
Tracking software is usually an afterthought. Don’t make that mistake. Go ahead and use laptop-tracking app to make your computer traceable should it go missing. It works in a similar way to the Find My iPhone app with an iPhone; a Wi-Fi or mobile connection is traced back to the nearest IP address and physical spot.
Security app software often has other features too. These might include accessing the computer securely using SSH encryption technologies or locking the computer’s access. Remotely wiping the data on the hard drive should be considered a last resort, but it does help protect private information and avoid identify theft.
3. Hide Your Tech Gear
It might seem like a strange idea, but most people are far too casual about showing what they own. There’s a sense of pride and status associated with the latest smartphone or laptop. However, depending on where the tech is shown to someone, it may inadvertently give less decent folks an eyeful and designs on it.
It’s always better to have a friend come around to take a look at your new gear rather than take it over to show them. If you really need the bragging rights, let them come to you.
Also, be aware when you’re talking up what you own online, as people can track where you live from your public social media profile. You’d be amazed what snoopers can discover about you on the internet if they’re sufficiently motivated. Even indoor photos of your home with selfies can mistakenly give away what window locks or door locks you’re using, letting thieves plan for a burglary.
4. Be Self-Aware
Know the people around you and learn about your surroundings. If you’re going to a place that you’re not familiar with, leave your tech at home. Get a good sense of where it’s safe to be with expensive items and where it is not. The better you are at this, the safer you’ll be.
Don’t go to places with your gear in a bag that’s easy to snatch. Use a different bag to carry a laptop; not a laptop bag that advertises what you’re carrying around!
Being safe with your gear is as much about you as it is your possessions. The last thing you want is to be threatened or harmed during an attempted robbery. Avoiding putting yourself in that position in the first place and protect your laptop with some security software to cover all the bases.