Preventing Laptop Theft On Campus

Photo credit: Thinkstock

Photo credit: Thinkstock

A recent study released by Absolute® Software, a company providing security and solutions responding to computer theft, reports that college campuses have moved from fifth to third place in terms of most common areas for laptop theft. Loosing a laptop can be devastating for a college student or faculty member. The impact goes well beyond its economic repercussions.  First, personal identifying information residing in the laptop’s hard drive is subject to misuse. Then, the school papers, presentations, music, photos and mounds of valuable data that are now forever gone into a black hole.  Unfortunately, computer theft is a fact of life and the best way to combat this is to act before it happens.

Fortunately, a trace software on a computer increases the chances of recovery. In the case of Absolute Software, the software is sometimes embedded in the system as part of the laptop BIOS. This means that it can’t be removed, even if the hard disk drive is replaced or wiped clean.This program periodically connects to the Internet, if a PC is reported stolen, the computer returns details on its location, which is reported to law enforcement.  As shared in this Mashable article, LoJack for Laptops has a great track record for recovering stolen computers. They have a 75% success rate, which is outstanding when compared to the 3% success rate for computers without any tracking software.

The Georgetown University Department of Public Safety (DPS) took a note and launched a laptop theft prevention initiative in October which featured LoJack® for Laptops at a reduced rate (costs shared with the University) alongside education about how to reduce opportunistic crime. To learn more about their initiative, check out the Georgetown Voice blog post.

Are you part of a theft prevention program on campus? We would like to know how your business is dealing with laptop theft in your community.

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