PhilMUG's how-to-avoid-laptop-thefts thread

Discussion in 'MacBook Air, MacBook & MacBook Pro' started by elbert, Jun 13, 2007.

  1. elbert

    elbert Active Member

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    We've been seeing so many reports of laptop thefts recently. Most of the time, they're taken from parked cars. I'm starting this thread where we can all pitch in some of our own tips, based on our personal experiences, on how to avoid losing a laptop. I'll try to list as many as I can in this first post, please feel free to add your own.

    - Securing your data:
    1. Go into System Preferences > Accounts and make sure you have a password
    2. Go into System Preferences > Security and check the following boxes:
    • Require Password to wake this computer from sleep or screen saver
    • Disable automatic login

    - Securing your laptop:
    1. Use a nondescript bag to carry and hide your Mac. There are bags that are obviously laptop bags, avoid those at all costs. An Apple logo on the bag doesn't help either.

    2. Never let your laptop or your laptop bag out of your sight. When in a public space like a café, take the laptop with you when going to the restroom or when picking up coffee at the counter.

    3. As much as possible, deploy a cable lock.

    4. Avoid leaving your laptop in a car. In case you have to:

    a. do not leave the laptop or its bag in plain sight. Hide it in the trunk, or slip the unit under the seat. Thieves will not bother breaking into a car that looks empty. Even shopping bags attract their attention.

    b. Make sure your car doors are locked and windows shut.

    c. try to park in an area that's well-lit and highly visible.

    d. if you're going to watch a movie, make sure not to park in an area obviously used by movie-goers only

    e. vans with sliding windows are the most broken into. Never leave valuables in L300s and the like.

    5. Do not leave your laptop in the office overnight, especially over the weekend. No matter how secure your office may be, there's a big chance for someone to take it when no one is looking

    6. Use the hotel safe.

    7. When flying, do not check your laptop in with your luggage

    8. In airports, do not let your laptop bag into the X-ray machine until you are sure you have a clear path through the metal detectors.

    9. Keep your laptop's whereabouts in the top of your mind.
     
    #1 elbert, Jun 13, 2007
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2007
  2. vicicasas

    vicicasas Active Member

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    ... buy a Palm Foleo and leave your laptop at home? =)
     
  3. lasbac

    lasbac Member

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    Insure your macs for theft and follow elbert's tips. But bring your macs.
     
  4. rogue

    rogue Member

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    When spotting an obvious thief, shoot to kill.
     
  5. berniej

    berniej Active Member

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    That's exactly what I intend to do... however, I intend to get the Asus Eee PC instead :D

    ...and leave my MacBook safe at home.
     
  6. Tantantiniiin

    Tantantiniiin Active Member

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    if you have to leave your laptop in the car, keep it connected to the kensington cable, and tie it around the seat brace, tie it or any secure area in your trunk. Think of your car as if its just another table in a trade show. you leave a laptop untethered, you give thieves more chance to take it from your car.

    If you have to leave it in the trunk, prevent the driver side lever from opening the trunk. Some cars have this "child-safe" like switch at the inner side of your trunk that prevents it from being opened without a key.

    Lastly, lock and prevent just this thread from being seen by non-philmug members. If they can view this, they can develop countermeasures to everything that we will write down here.
     
  7. lockheed

    lockheed Member

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    and go to jail for it.

    just like berniej, unless needed, i'd leave the heavy equipment at home and just bring the asus eee that weighs next to nothing for a notebook.

    for others who need to bring their full sized laptops everyday i suggest the following:

    1) consider switching to an elegant backpack. its easier to carry your laptop this way especially while shopping in a mall. i know imagining yourself with a knapsack isnt for everyone.

    2) when you leave your laptop under the seat of the vehicle, do not place attractive items on the seat. they'll break in initially just for the things they see in plain view then grab your laptop after conveniently finding it under the seat.
     
    #7 lockheed, Jun 13, 2007
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2007
  8. tweek

    tweek Well-Known Member

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    don't be mayabang with your laptop. apple envy tend to turn criminal. ;)
     
  9. maryannemoll

    maryannemoll Guest

    Here's what I do:

    1. When parking in mall parking areas, I try to park right between two of the shiniest and newest and richest-looking SUV's I could find. It helps, too, that I have a 1994 Mazda sedan that is always dusty-looking. :)

    2. Or, you can park right next to the slot where the manned parking ticket booths are. Even if this might not exactly deter the more suave thieves, it would deter those whose style of thieving involves smashing car windows.

    3. In case you absolutely have to leave your Mac in the car, camouflage it! When I used to have to take my Mac out of the house but had back problems so I could not lug it around all the time during my errands, I slip it into the pocket behind my leather seat covers, wrapped in its sleeve and covered with a folded newspaper, to make it look like a regular folded newspaper tucked into the seat pocket. And then just bring the laptop bag.

    4. I use a cable lock all the time in wifi cafes, although I never leave it alone. And I stay only as long as I need. (Usually this happens only when Smart Bro in my apartment goes bonkers. Most of the time, though, when this happens, I just go to my friendly neighborhood internet shop with my trusty thumb drive.)

    That's it for now. Let's all watch out for each other. :)
     
    #9 maryannemoll, Jun 13, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2007
  10. Theus

    Theus PhilMUG Addict Member

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    ahaha, i knew there's some benefit in not having our pick-up car washed once in a while;)
     
  11. kate

    kate Member

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    yes, getting insurance is a good idea :)
     
  12. lockheed

    lockheed Member

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    well im not the type to flaunt anything that i have. but this is just like telling women not to wear mini skirts or spaghetti straps because it'll increase their chances of getting raped. i can see the logic behind it but mini/micro skirt wearing girls just want to look good and feel good and who are we to deny them that lol;)
     
  13. maryannemoll

    maryannemoll Guest

    Yes, but be prepared to deal with the possible consequences if you flaunt your Mac. :)
     
  14. xkg

    xkg Member

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    the Asus Eee PC is starting to sound like a nice idea. then again, leaving the books at home might not be too good either--lately, there's been a rash of reports of thefts at home too.

    hay, not even the home is safe these days.
     
  15. wrkshy

    wrkshy Member

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    get an external hard drive, back up ALL your files...

    in case i really need to leave my mac, i'll put it under the car mat, at the back or under the driver 's seat.
     
  16. hannibal

    hannibal Guest

    install a tracking device (like those featured in jack bauer's 24 or the kind that's installed in america's football), then leave it unattended in a cafe or car or wherever, as a bait for thieves. perhaps after 4 or 5 successful publicized entrapment operations using this device, laptop theft will dramatically decrease and our mac portables will be safe again. ;)

    magkano kaya yung device na yon?
     
  17. bon

    bon Active Member

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    A heavily tinted car might be a no-no as well - even if thieves can't see inside, they might try to open up your car anyway, as it appears that you have something to hide - whether it be your laptop, a really bad-ass stereo/AV system or whatnot.
     
  18. maryannemoll

    maryannemoll Guest

    You may have a point! If thieves can see clearly into your locked car and see nothing worth stealing inside, then they won't bother with your car. :)

    Why didn't I think of that before? (Well, my car's windows are tinted but still see-through.)
     
  19. lockheed

    lockheed Member

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    yeah but if your car has no tint at all and you attempted to hide your macbook pro under the seat or under the carpet then theyd see you squirming around trying to hide something before you leave your car.
     
  20. maryannemoll

    maryannemoll Guest

    At least there's a way around it, such as, hide your Mac already the before you drive to the mall.
    It's nice to see we're thinking of concrete ways to protect ourselves.

    Now I just hope the thieves don't see this thread. :)
     

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