A Stolen Laptop Can Cost You More Than the Price of the Hardware

The best thing about your laptop: You can easily pick it up and carry it away. The worst thing: So can someone else.

"Laptop theft is regarded as the most common crime on the University of Manitoba campus," reads an article in The Manitoban. And it's not just a problem for students. Laptops are designed to be light and portable, and they cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. That's a pretty big temptation even for someone who has never stolen anything before.

When someone snatches your laptop, you lose more than just some hardware. You lose files, some of which may be vitally important to your work or your family. Try explaining to your boss, or to your spouse, why you no longer have that report or those photos.

It gets worse. If those files contain credit card or bank account numbers, company secrets, or other sensitive information, the thief's profit could go up at your expense.

In other words, protect that laptop. While traveling, keep either an eye or a hand on it at all times. And when you're home, lock it down. Laptops come with a security slot for just this purpose. You can buy a lock-and-cable kit to secure it for about $20.

No solution is perfect, and even protected laptops get stolen. So you need to protect your files, as well. Trend Micro's SafeSync stores extra copies of your files in the cloud, so that they won't disappear with your computer. You can buy it as a stand-alone service, but limited-capacity versions come with Titanium Internet Security and Maximum Security.

And to keep your sensitive files from falling into the wrong hands, keep them in Titanium Maximum's Trend Micro Vault, which stores them in an encrypted folder that's inaccessible to anyone without your password. And thanks to Titanium Maximum's Remote File Lock feature, you can even encrypt your files after your laptop has been stolen.

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