Basics Steps for Preventing Laptop Theft (as recommended by UCSF Police)
1. Asset tag or engrave the laptop.
Permanently marking (or engraving) the outer case of the laptop with your company name, address, and phone number may greatly increase your odds of getting it returned to you if you happen to leave it somewhere. According to the FBI, 97% of unmarked computers are never recovered. Clearly marking your laptop deters casual thieves and may prevent it from being resold over the internet via an online auction.
2. Register the laptop with the manufacturer.
Registering your laptop with the manufacturer will "flag" it if a thief ever sends it in for maintenance and increases your odds of getting it back. It also pays to write down your laptop's serial number and store it in a safe place. In the event your laptop is stolen, it will be impossible for the police to recover it.
3. Never leave your laptop unattended, even for a moment.
We get numerous reports of laptop theft when the owner leaves his or her office or study table for just a moment to go down the hall or to get a drink of water. Another time to be cautious is during meetings when thieves take the opportunity to enter a room and quickly steal away with the laptop. Remember thieves have better access than you might think and are very quick.
4. Never carry your laptop in an obvious laptop bag or carrying case.
These are immediate flags for would-be thieves. Small padded cases that fit just the laptop are available at most luggage stores. These allow you to carry the laptop safely in a backpack, briefcase, or messenger bag.
5. Be certain to back up all important data daily, and protect against access by using a strong password.
6. Read these additional security tips from the School of Pharmacy.