A laptop gets stolen every 53 seconds; that is shocking, right? But this is true. Laptops have more chances of getting stolen, mostly in public places like hotels, bars, and cafes.
I do not mean to scare you, but out of every 10 laptops, 1 has the chance of getting stolen, and the sad part is that only 2% of stolen laptops get recovered.
However, you can take many safety precautions to prevent your lappy from getting into some mugger’s hands. For instance, you can avoid using it at airports since airports have the highest laptop theft rate, and they sway away in a fraction of a second.
Scroll down to learn more about “how many laptops are stolen each year” and how you can save your data from being swiped.
A laptop gets stolen every 53 seconds around the world, get sold to pawnshops or get sold in parts.
- How Often Do Laptops Get Stolen?
- Where do Laptops Get Stolen?
- How Many Laptops Are Stolen Every Second?
- What usually happens to stolen laptops?
- Can Police Track Stolen Laptops?
- Tips to Avoid your Laptop Getting Stolen
- Tips to Avoid your Laptop Data Getting Stolen or Wiped Out
- What to do if your laptop is lost or stolen?
How Often Do Laptops Get Stolen?
Laptop theft makes up a major portion of the US criminal sector, and it really is shocking that out of 10 laptops in good condition, one has a 100% probability of getting stolen.
And you know what? This doesn’t stop here. The FBI said laptops worth more than $3.5 million, including their employees’ laptops, were stolen.
I know it hurts to lose anything valuable, but trust me when I say that cost is only a tertiary factor of loss: the data, the privacy, and everything you have in it are all stolen with a single piece of equipment. There’s no telling whether a stolen laptop was taken for its monetary value or the data stored on it.
Where do Laptops Get Stolen?
It gets so frustrating when you cannot find out who took your lappy away because they are mostly swiped away at public places, and according to Lojack for Laptops, the most common areas where laptops are taken away are:
- Public Schools
- Residential Properties
- Automobiles (excluding taxis)
- Universities and Colleges
- Restaurants and Cafes
- Hotels and Motels
- Public Transit (taxi, bus, train)
It shows a high probability of you not knowing or identifying the thief; in most cases, you can’t even remember where you left your device and where it went.
How Many Laptops Are Stolen Every Second?
There is a need for you to go deeper into the deets to avoid as many thefts as you can. How many computers do you think are lost or stolen per second? Every 53 seconds, a laptop is stolen, said Gartner, a technology research organization.
That works out to around 1,440 stolen computers daily. It amounts to approximately $500,000 every year. About 50 million computers are sold yearly; that’s a lot of stolen or misplaced devices… and a lot of missed data and security.
That is a considerable number, I must say. The bummer came in when I got to know that not only do ordinary people like us get to experience this loss, but many IT practitioners complain about their devices getting lost or stolen.
IT professionals say that laptops have been lost or stolen in 86% of their businesses, and in 56% of those cases, a data breach happened because of it.
It all depicts that many things can happen to stolen laptops. However, there is also a chance that nothing will happen to your device. You can’t really say anything. Therefore, we have the next section dedicated to this issue.
What usually happens to stolen laptops?
The majority of computers are stolen and then sold on the black market. Although some are sold on legal websites, many burglars resort to selling their stuff at pawnshops because they need cash immediately.
What do you do in this scenario? You Let area pawnshops be aware of the company’s theft-deterrence program and the steps being taken to trace and retrieve things.
The pawnshop broker benefits from this information because if it turns out that the broker is holding stolen items, the assets can be taken back without the broker having to pay any more money.
You can play your part here. Inform the pawnshops in the area where you lost your device immediately. Thefts won’t happen if pawnshops are informed and won’t buy them.
Apart from this, the thief who steals your laptop will likely be eager to get rid of it as quickly as possible. They may sell the computer to anyone ready to pay for it near the theft spot.
There are many chances that your laptop goes into the hands of professional crime gangs where; they either sell its parts in bulk or reset your device, remove all traceable data, clean them, and sell them as a used device in the market. These gangs are professional and run their business with an eagle’s eye.
Can Police Track Stolen Laptops?
The police have a hard time tracing stolen devices because of the wide variety of methods that may be employed to conceal their ownership.
When a person buys a laptop, it comes with a bunch of software that helps the police find it if it goes missing. However, there are other additional approaches for police to trace your laptop, that are:
1- Using Anti-Theft Softwares
Usage of anti-theft software, which uses information traced back from IP addresses. Some applications log the actual location and the Internet Protocol (IP) address, allowing for GPS and Wi-Fi tracking.
2- Using Computrace
Computrace is a program developed and sold under the aegis of absolute software. It helps police recover misplaced or seized laptops. This information is helpful for local police in retrieving a stolen laptop.
If you put it on a laptop, it will connect to the network and allow you to sign up for things; with this, the laptop’s serial number is recorded. The ultimate team steps in once a laptop theft complaint is filed, adding the device to a list of “highly requested.”
Tips to Avoid your Laptop Getting Stolen
Technology never disappoints us. Do you know you can save your laptop from getting stolen? Well, if not, there are many primary precautions you must take in any situation, be your laptop is stolen or not.
1- Dont Leave the Laptop Unattended in the Vehicle
Make sure not to leave your device in the vehicle unattended, especially when your car is unlocked, even if it’s just a glance away from you. Unlocked vehicles attract muggers.
If you really need to get out for work, you can keep it in the trunk or cover it with something, so no one notices.
2. Do not transport your laptop in a clear bag or cover.
Thieves may be drawn to clear laptop bags and take advantage of the opportunity whenever they see you alone.
Therefore, avoiding walking around with your laptop in a clear bag or cover is advised.
3- Dont leave the laptop in the meeting room/desk
If you are a corporate person and attend business meetings or workshops often, then there are many chances you can leave your devices in meeting rooms during breaks. These breaks can be an excellent opportunity for muggers to filch your devices, take them with you, and never leave them unattended.
4- Don’t trust Strangers with your Devices
If you are in a public place and you come across an emergency, do not hand over your belongings to strangers or people you dont know or trust.
5- Enable Tracking Software
Nowadays, laptops come with tracking software, which you can quickly put in stolen or lost mode. Tracking can save many mishaps and every possible lousy scenario you could think of!
Tips to Avoid your Laptop Data Getting Stolen or Wiped Out
A password is no longer sufficient to keep your data secure in this day and age. The security of a laptop computer and data may be strengthened in various ways. As a result of its efficiency and low price, whole-disk encryption is gaining popularity.
Another practice that organizations can undertake is that instead of providing field staff with traditional laptops, thin client devices (where all data resides on the server) might be provided. This could mitigate the impact of data theft.
What to do if your laptop is lost or stolen?
A laptop of yours has gone missing. I guess the question is, “What can you do now?” You may get in touch with the authorities in your area and reset your sensitive passwords.
Still, it is strongly recommended that you put tracking software on your devices and do the following:
1- Report the Theft
The first thing you should do if your laptop is stolen is to contact the police. Get the word out there so people can begin looking for it.
Communicate with your bank immediately. If you have used an automated service to enter your banking or credit card details, notify your financial firms. In addition to replacing lost or stolen cards, they may also assist you in freezing your old ones.
2- Encrypt Your Hard Drive
All of the information on your computer is stored on the hard disk. There are legends of criminals who threw laptops into pools or even lit them on fire to wipe away any digital proof.
The hard disks, however, are robust and difficult to damage. This is why protecting your laptop’s data using encryption is so important. An encrypted hard drive will not reveal its contents, even if it is physically removed from a computer. Thus, a “theft” with yours will be fruitless.
If you use two-factor authentication (2FA), encrypt your hard drive, and have numerous solid and unique passwords, it will be much more difficult for a hacker or a thief to access your data.
3- Reset Your Passwords
Do a password reset! Be careful to change the passwords to your email accounts and other personal information websites. You should let your superiors know if this is a company laptop. Some of these people may have device management software that allows them to erase or track down their laptops remotely.
The point is to make it, so a thief or unauthorized user has a far more difficult time getting to the data you consider sensitive from a laptop that is lost or stolen.
Bonus Tip: If you suffer a loss, please notify the company. It’s possible to find someone to assist you.
Laptop theft is not a one-time thing. There are many things you should take into consideration. First, you must take precautions and protect your data because no one wants to lose it, right? Secondly, you must learn what you must do to recover it if unfortunately lost to some mugger.
There are many things associated with a single theft, and you must have hands-on with everything to minimize the probability of getting it stolen. I hope you find this guide helpful. Let us know if we need to include anything in the comment below.