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Your Company Laptop Was Stolen – Now What?

stolen laptop business backup encryption

It’s another Tuesday in the airport, and you just cleared the TSA line and went to the pretzel shop for a quick bite before you catch your plane. You sit your laptop down to get a straw, and the next second…your laptop is gone. It’s not in sight, nor is the thief who stole it.

At first you’re confused, then the confusion starts to fade away and you realize that this wasn’t just a personal laptop. It was your work computer and had company files, sensitive information and access to company data that definitely doesn’t belong in anyone else’s hands.

But what do you do?

What To Do When You Can’t Find Your Stolen Laptop

Stolen Laptop Step 1: Get in touch with your IT team

Whether you outsource, have internal IT staff or a mixture of both, your first step is to alert your IT support teams of the incident. Time is critical on this.

Even if you have a password on your laptop, which will likely prevent the thief from immediately having access to your private documents. It won’t stop someone removing the hard drive from your laptop and connecting it to another computer. Suddenly your hard drive is sitting there, ready to browse – just like any other folder or drive letter.

Your IT Staff/Vendor should be installing encryption and remote management software on all remote devices. With proper encryption, your data is secure AND with remote management, your IT staff can wipe the stolen laptop before any damage is done.

Without this encryption software and remote management, you’d be forced to report any theft like this as a data breach. That means the government knows about it, your employees need to be made aware and worst of all – you have to alert clients.

This is why in this instance, you call your tech staff first.

Stolen Laptop Step 2: Contact the Police and file a report

The next best thing to do in situations like this is to immediately file a police report for the stolen laptop. Having a police case number can help with any insurance and/or recovery endeavors that come up. Plus, having a police report can help catch the criminal who stole your sensitive devices.

Stolen Laptop Step 3: Change Your Passwords

If you don’t have encryption and even if you do – it is smart to change passwords to all personal, professional and financial accounts. Additionally if you used this computer to pay bills, check banking information or for any type of financial transactions, you’ll want to make sure to check those accounts.

Stolen Laptop Step 4: Recover Your data on another device

This step also involves your IT staff/company. Hopefully you’re IT pros have all of your company data backed up and readily available. It is important that you synch your portable devices regularly so that in ANY incident of failure or theft, you can be restored quickly without too much interruption.

To make sure that you’re covered on this front, we’d suggest requesting regular tests of your backups anyway. That way, no matter the issue, you know your data is secured, backed up AND ready to deploy in an emergency or urgent situation.

In Summary

There are many steps you’ll want to take after a theft occurs but with proactive IT support you won’t have nearly as many headaches to deal with.

These things happen more often than you’d think too.

On average a laptop is stolen every 53 seconds!

So – take the following actions and get ahead of the issue before a stolen laptop happens.

  1. Find out if your company’s remote devices are encrypted with the ability to wipe all data on command
  2. Make sure that you train employees with remote devices not to leave them unattended and to lock them in the trunk of their cars instead of leaving them in a front or backseat.
  3. When travelling put your laptop on the TSA conveyer belt last – that way it is less likely to remain unattended.
  4. Look into your company backups and business continuity protocols.
    1. How often are they tested?
    2. How often are remote users synching and backing up data?
    3. How long will it take to restore a PC when you need it?

Our team is here to help you set up and manage any of the technical details listed above.

In fact, fill out the form below or call the office to receive 10% off of your initial setup fees for our remote encryption software!

Just mention the code “Encrypt4Me” when you call (815) 836-0030 or fill out the form below.