in

What to do when your laptop is stolen

What to do when your laptop is stolen

What to do when your laptop is stolen

Having your laptop stolen isn’t just stressful because you need to replace a pricey piece of hardware—it also poses a threat to your digital security. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect yourself both before and after your laptop goes missing.

Read on to learn about how to prepare yourself against the possibility of notebook theft, how to report the theft if your laptop is stolen, and how to protect your data after it’s in the hands of thieves. 

How to prepare for possible laptop theft

Obviously, nobody expects their laptop to get stolen, but it can happen to anyone. It’s important to take steps to protect yourself while your computer (and your sensitive data) is still in your possession, as it makes recovering from a notebook theft much easier. In particular, you should make sure to:

Encrypt your data

You can encrypt your hard drive so that no one can access your sensitive information (like saved passwords and your credit card info) even if they have physical access to your laptop.

If your computer is running Windows, take a few minutes to set up BitLocker, which can encrypt your drive. You’ll need to pick a password to access your data, so make sure to follow all the usual password best practices. (Above all, don’t write it on a post-it note and stick it on your laptop.)

If you’re open to using third party software, you can also download Absolute Home & Office (formerly LoJack for Laptops). In addition to encrypting your drive, it also makes it easier to take some of the other measures described in this article, such as tracing your laptop’s location and remotely deleting your data.

Keep a current backup

You should regularly back up your data so that if someone steals your laptop, your files aren’t lost forever. You should be doing this even if you’re not concerned about laptop theft, since data can be lost or damaged in dozens of different ways.

To learn how to back up your data more efficiently, see our guides on the best backup software for Windows and the best online backup services.

How to create a FaceTime link for your Android and PC friends

How to create a FaceTime link for your Android and PC friends

Oppo Reno 6 Pro 5G review: A beautiful phone with room for improvement

Oppo Reno 6 Pro 5G review: A beautiful phone with room for improvement