Ten Seconds Is All It Takes To Steal A Laptop. Make Laptop Encryption Part Of Your Endpoint Security Arsenal.

If one does a search for the words “laptop theft” in Google, the third result is the security footage of what looks to be a passing elderly man stealing a laptop.  More specifically, this elderly man scouts the place out and steals the laptop that was displayed at a storefront window in broad daylight, with at least two workers in the store.


I wanted to call him a vagrant, but it doesn’t look like his appearance is causing sirens to go off in the minds of the storekeepers, despite what looks like an unkempt appearance in the extremely grainy footage from the camera.  Plus, one can clearly see him pretending to be talking on a cell phone as he walks out with the hot goods (good?) literally stuffed down his pants.  You don’t have too many hobos with cell phones out there.  Well, with the exception of South Korea, it seems.  I’ve been a direct witness to someone begging for money in the streets and answering a call at the same time.


The footage found via Google is very telling in how thieves can and do use extremely small lapses in security to perpetrate their delinquent acts.  Despite there being two people on the same floor as him, the fellow was able to surreptitiously close the lid of the laptop on display, pick it up, and then slip it down his pants.  He does it in small increments, but the entire thing takes him less than thirty seconds, and the process of picking up his laptop, hiding it, and walking out the door takes him less than ten.


The store is not a big one, so it begs belief that no one noticed.  Can you imagine what could happen, and how much easier it would be to steal in a setting such as an office?  Wider expanse in square footage; more people, meaning more anonymity…plus, no security cameras inside the office, since it’d be too weird in an office setting.  No need for the scoping, just need the timing.  Go into some random office dressed up as an exterminator and wait for the right moment.  Hide the goods in your exterminator bag—who’s gonna know if exterminators have bags or not?  And if someone does make a stink about it, make sure you’ve got a couple of mummfied rat cadavers in there; that’ll put them on their way—and walk out after declaring a clean bill of health for the building.  It’s no wonder that people such as the Khaki bandit are able to pull off their stunts.


So, how does one guarantee laptop security—as well as security for desktop computers and other devices—in such instances?  After all, it’s an unforeseen event.  And therein lies the problem: There’s no real way to defend oneself because one’s not expecting it.  (Can you defend yourself from a guy creeping up behind you and taking a swing at you?  Only if you’ve got a plate in the back of your head.)  Of course, if were strictly talking about protecting hardware, chances are that companies affected won’t be as concerned since they probably have insurance that will cover the replacement of the machine.  But, there are other things stolen along with the devices that cannot be so easily recovered.  For example, the presentation one was preparing for the sales meeting next week.  And this is why people are encouraged to back up their data.  Just in case.


For the same reason, people should seriously consider encryption services for their computers, such as AlertBoot.  Only by installing easy?to?implement and easy?to?use encryption services that are transparent to the end user (i.e., the person typing up that report doesn’t experience the effects of the encrypted state) can a business make sure that data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands, in case someone is able to make out with office computers while no one is looking.

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