What To Do if Your Laptop is Lost or Stolen

It can be a nightmare if your laptop gets lost or stolen. It not only costs money to replace your laptop, but it also jeopardises your digital security. When an unauthorised third party has access to your digital information, they have the ability to hack into your accounts and do anything they want with your company and personal information.

Fortunately, there are a number of precautions you can follow to reduce the dangers of having your laptop stolen or misplaced. We’ll look at seven important laptop security guidelines in this post.

These methods will assist you in protecting your data while you search for and reclaim the device.

1. Change or Delete Your Account Passwords

You must take timely precautions to secure your sensitive information if your laptop is lost or stolen.
To begin, log into your browser using a different device, disable automatic sign-in, and remove any saved passwords. Follow the steps below:-

Chrome Users

  1. Open Chrome
  2. Go to Advanced Settings
  3. Click on Passwords and Forms
  4. Click on Manage Passwords. You will see a list of sites where Chrome has saved your password.
  5. Click the three dots against the saved sites
  6. Click Delete

Firefox Users

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox
  2. Go to Menu and click Preferences
  3. On the left panel click on Privacy and Security
  4. Scroll down and select Logins and Passwords
  5. Select the password
  6. Click Remove

Safari Users

  1. Open Safari
  2. Select General> Passwords and Autofill
  3. Click on Saved Passwords
  4. Click Edit
  5. Select the saved website passwords
  6. Click Delete

Remove any stored payment information from any online e-commerce accounts you may have, such as Amazon, Ebay, Google Pay, Netflix, Apple or PayPal. You don’t want your sensitive financial information to end up on the dark web. For corporate devices, StarLabs laptop repair services can protect your or your employees’ work laptops.

2. Clear Autofill History From Your Browsers

Many users use their laptop browsers’ autofill feature to quickly fill in usernames and passwords. While this is a positive development, it also exposes you to several hazards if your device is stolen: once the thief opens your browser, they have access to all of your online accounts.

If you’re using Chrome, go to the menu option, then to settings, then to the auto-fill area, and turn it off. Go to settings, press “safari,” pick autofill, and turn it off for the Safari browser.

After that, you should change all of your account passwords, particularly those for your email account, social networking platforms, and other critical apps and websites. Make sure your new passwords are strong, unexpected, and one-of-a-kind. Using your birth date or pet’s name as password makes your online accounts highly vulnerable to hackers.

Consider utilising a password manager like LastPass instead of using a weak password just because it’s simple to remember. A password manager creates difficult passwords for your accounts and allows you to recover them at any time. Enable two-factor authentication for your accounts for increased security.

3. Logout and Unauthorise Your Laptop Remotely

Most individuals are always hooked in to their favourite social networking sites and apps, such as Gmail, Facebook, iCloud, and Instagram. This implies that anyone who has access to your laptop has immediate access to these accounts.

Fortunately, you can log out of your accounts remotely on all major platforms. Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix etc all have the option to remotely logout from any device. You  can, for example, log out of your Gmail account using a different computer or smartphone.

This is how you do it:

  1. Go to your Gmail account and sign in.
  2. In the bottom right corner of your email, click “details.”
  3. “Sign out of all other web sessions” is the option to choose.

Make the same changes to your social media profiles. You may also disable auto-sync to ensure that updates are not reflected on the missing device. Unauthorize your laptop and delete it from these platforms’ trusted device list.

4. Track Your Laptop Using GPS

GPS tracking may be used to locate lost laptops. You can follow a stolen laptop’s whereabouts using its built-in tracking device, just as you would with a smart phone. However this is only possible if your laptop has connected to the internet atleast once before it was lost. If your laptop lacks an in-built tracker, you can track it with third-party tracking software or antivirus.

For example, using iCloud’s “find my mac” feature, you can locate your device and perform one of these functions: trigger sound, lock the device, or remotely wipe all of its data. For Windows laptops, Microsoft also includes a “locate my device” option.

If you’ve successfully tracked your laptop, don’t jeopardise your safety by pursuing the perpetrator if it was stolen. However if it  appears like you left it at the tracked location, you can go with someone to investigate.

5. Safeguard Your Bank Accounts

In this day and age of digital banking, having your bank information, such as credit card numbers and pins saved on your laptop is fairly routine. Anyone with access to these data can use your accounts to make unlawful transactions.

This is why you should call your bank as soon as possible so that they can keep an eye on your accounts for any questionable activity. For rapid monitoring complaints of stolen or lost devices, most banks provide a hotline number or a self-service channel.

To avoid fraudulent activity, your bank will usually freeze your debit and credit cards. They’ll also keep an eye on your bank account activity.

Bottom Line

While you cannot totally avoid laptop theft, you can make it virtually hard for a thief to infiltrate your laptop, access important information, and do harm. By taking the right steps, you’ll secure your data and limit your damages.

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