Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Lock 'em Up

According to a FBI study, 1.5 million laptops were stolen in the US last year or just over 5 laptops, every two seconds. Think your safe? Think again. Laptops have not only a value on the hardware, but the information that can be pulled from a laptop can be worth far more than the laptop itself. Personal information stored on a drive can lead to identity theft and cause nightmares for the victim. 

Where do thieves strike?
There are a few primary targets for laptop thieves to operate. Hotels, Airports, College Campus, and internet ready coffee shops are primary targets for these thieves. It takes moments for a thief to snatch a laptop. In some cases it is done right under the owner's nose. Hotel guests have gone into the shower and returned to find their property stolen. Cafe customers may go to refill a cup and turn to see their laptop is no longer where they left it. Airports are hectic and often people are travel weary and let their guard down. Dorm rooms and libraries are prime spots for theft on college campuses.

What can people do?
Remember it is not just the laptop that is being stolen, it is the information. Secure all data with passwords. Never write your passwords where they could be found with the laptop. Change your passwords often and make sure that you do not store passwords on your computer.

Privacy filters can make it more difficult for identity thieves to glean any information by watching your screens. In airports and other tourist spots, someone who may seem to be taking pictures or capturing video, may also be capturing screens that you have on your computer.The person sitting next to you may be able to see your screen without you noticing.

Deterring the crime is the best place to begin. Most laptop thefts are "Crimes of Opportunity" meaning that the thief happens upon a vulnerable system. Security locks are one of the best ways to deter would be thieves. Cable locks are very visible, can be secured to nearby fixtures and most fit the common "Kensington Slot" found on most laptops and other electronics. The visible cable will often make thieves find an easier victim.

Let Manhattan help protect you.
Manhattan has a wide range of privacy filters and one of the top locks on the market. Manhattan provides a solid security solution, showing potential thieves that you are protected. This outward show also makes the thief more likely to believe that your file and password security is equally well maintained. Potential thieves pass by the protected laptop to find something easier to take. By teaming up with Manhattan's security products, you can avoid becoming a statistic.