Why does it happen so often that thieves steal laptops and other portable electronics?

Laptops, tablets, mobile phones, and other portable electronic devices have become a favourite target of thieves. Why? Because they are small and valuable, they can be stolen quickly, are easy to hide, and are in demand.

The true cost of stolen electronics

Not only does the cost of a stolen tablet, laptop or other small electronic device involve the cost of purchasing new equipment, but also the cost of peripherals and accessories, installed software, as well as lost time for your company’s IT department.

What is an even greater cost (especially if it concerns a business device) is the potential risk and liability resulting from the compromise of personal data stored there.

How to reduce the risk of electronic device theft?

Many times, often after the incident, we wonder what we could have done to prevent a valuable device from being stolen. Please find below some tips to keep your laptop and other personal electronics safe, whether you are at home, school, or on the go:

  • Do not leave your devices in an open vehicle, even if it is in the driveway or garage, and NEVER leave them on display, even when the vehicle is locked – this is just an invitation to a thief and looking for trouble. If you need to leave your device in a vehicle, the boot is the best place for that. If you do not have a boot, you best hide it from view, e.g. put it under the seat and lock the door.
  • Carry your device in an ordinary briefcase, bag or backpack. If you use a special laptop bag, you immediately signal to the thief that you have this valuable device with you.
  • Do not leave a meeting or conference room without your laptop or other electronic equipment. Take it with you.
  • Lock the device in a safe place when not in use, or use a cable lock to fasten it to a desk or chair.
  • BE REMINDED that if your computer is stolen, automatic login may make it easier for the thief to send inappropriate messages to your account. Use password protection and require logging in every time your computer goes hibernated or turns off.

Air travel with laptop and other devices

Watch out for this type of theft when approaching the airport X-ray scanner: the first person passes quickly through the scanner, while the second one moves slowly, emptying pockets for a long time from small coins, keys, etc. Meanwhile, impatient travellers behind them place their stuff on the conveyor belt: laptops, mobile phones, and tablets. Taking the opportunity, the first thief picks up the nearest device as if it were their own and walks away while the second one continues to put the line on hold.

YOU SHALL ONLY PUT YOUR LAPTOP ON THE BELT WHEN YOU ARE NEXT IN LINE! Keep an eye on your laptop, tablet or other electronics as they slide off the conveyor belt. Alarm security immediately if you suspect someone is trying to steal your device.

Report theft immediately!

In the event of theft, REPORT IT IMMEDIATELY to the IT department and the data protection officer. Thanks to this, your company will be able to secure the stolen equipment and assess the risks related to the personal data processed on it, and, if applicable, report this fact to the President of the Personal Data Protection Office!

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