Your Macbook or Windows laptop often contains sensitive data about you and your business, family and other people and/or entities. Losing it may mean losing all this data. In worst case, you can find someone has been using the data on your notebook to impersonate you – for identity theft. How to secure laptop data from theft? There are some good methods and this article talks about them.

Install Laptop Tracking Software

You must be having those cellphones that carry tracking feature. When the SIM card of such phone is replaced, it sends out data about its location to a pre-configured phone number. Similar software is available for laptops also. When anyone connects to the Internet using the laptop, it stores its current location to a cloud based database.

There are some paid services that allow remote erasing of the hard disk in the stolen laptop. If you are looking for something that is reliable, I would suggest Prey. This software starts collecting data about laptop’s location as soon as you mark it missing in Prey’s online dashboard. You can then checkout the data and contact Police to reclaim your laptop. Before you can use the service, you need to download and install Prey. It is available for Mac OS X, Windows and other platforms too. It has free version plus some paid plans too. In their tweet, they clarified: Of course there’s a free version. Besides, Prey is open source software. Anyone can get the code and do whatever he/she wants. We offer a free-for-lifetime plan which allows you to track and test Prey on up to three devices.

 

Encrypt Your Hard Disk

This is one of the methods to make sure no one can read your data in case your laptop is stolen. There are many free encryption programs available on the Internet. Search for one and check it out to see if it works. Also, make sure the encryption is strong. Normally, the websites hosting such software tell you about the methods they use to encrypt hard drives. You may go for encryption software that uses 256 bit SSL encryption as it is hard to crack. Another good encryption algorithm is AES encryption. Check out which one suits you for both encryption and decrypting. Windows Vista and Windows 7 have built-in encryption called BitLocker. You can right click the drives and encrypt them at will.

IMPORTANT: When setting up encryption, do not choose for auto-decryption else the encryption will lose its purpose.

Use That Lid Lock

You should make it a habit to lock the lid of the laptop. This way, your data is safe until you collect data about its whereabouts and use some agency to either acquire it back or to erase its data remotely. You can also use a BIOS password. Since the person who finds your laptop needs to enter the BIOS password before he can fire up the operating system, it won’t be easy for him to use your laptop. This is not, however, much secure as the thief can always take out your hard disk and connect it to other laptops. Still, using one or both security measures reduces the chances of your data being stolen.

The best method is to take precautions – as you won’t have to suffer later. You need to keep the laptop under lock and key when you are not around. If you are going out for a break in office, you can simply use a chain to lock it up with something heavy such as tables. Do not choose to display your laptop when you are out – in cars, parks or anywhere. Keep it with you if you have to carry it outside. If you are leaving it in your car, lock the car doors and windows properly.

The above explains how to secure your Macbook or Windows laptops data from thefts. If you know of some methods that I did not cover here, please share with us.

Arun Kumar enjoys writing about the Internet, Social Media and Technology. He started with MS DOS operating system and has continued to use and troubleshoot its Windows range of operating systems. He is also an author at TheWindowsClub.com. Catch him on Twitter @PowercutIN