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How to Protect Your Laptop Computer

Yesterday, I told you about how my laptop computer was stolen from inside my hotel room…while I was sleeping just a few feet away. Hard to believe, but true. I was pretty well prepared for such a disaster — better than most, but not as good as some — and my business was saved because […]

Yesterday, I told you about how my laptop computer was stolen from inside my hotel room…while I was sleeping just a few feet away.

Hard to believe, but true.

I was pretty well prepared for such a disaster — better than most, but not as good as some — and my business was saved because of it. But there were other things I could have done — and had always intended to do but hadn’t that could have either prevented the theft in the first place, or helped me to recover even faster.

You might think that what I’m about to recommend to you is a bit excessive. Well I’ll tell you, “It’s always too much until it’s not enough.”

In other words, you might think that doing one or two of these techniques is enough — and you might think it’s excessive. I promise you it’s not. If you lose your computer — either through an accident, or theft, or fire — you’ll need everything on your side to recover your personal information, your business, and your identity.

It’s always too much until it’s not enough. Remember that. Adopt it as your defensive motto for any part of your life.

Today we’re going to cover ways to protect your data and your computer. If you’ve used the tools or advice in the past, go ahead and leave a comment below. I’m sure there are other people will read this and appreciate your input. If you’ve got questions about any of this, go ahead and ask them.

1) COMPUTER LOG-IN – Always password protect your computer. Require a password each time your computer is rebooted or wakes up from sleep mode. If you have multiple users on your computer (for you, your spouse, coworkers, etc) then also make sure that their logins are password protected. Otherwise, someone can log into their account and get to your data.

2) LOJACK FOR LAPTOPS — I had meant to install this ever since I got my new laptop, but always thought I’d have more time — no such luck.

If I had Lojack for Laptops, I could have activated a search feature, which would work with the local police to help locate the laptop as soon as it was connected to the Internet. (Doesn’t work in every country, but it will definitely be on my next machine.)

Lojack for Laptops has a Premium version which allows you a very special feature, assuming want to keep your data top-secret: You can set Lojack to delete your data if it is stolen. That will keep your data away from someone else’s prying eyes, but if you ever recover your laptop, you won’t be able to get the data either. But that’s why you back up your computer, right?

3) LOCAL BACKUP – Here’s a bit of good news — I have good backups of my laptop, so I’m able to recover all of my data. I use Acronis True Image because it is fast and very easy to use. My entire 160gb hard drive backs up in just two hours…if I need to do a complete backup. But, it’s a simple matter to schedule an automatic “incremental” backup every week or every night so that all of the changes are saved in just a few minutes.

You can get a copy at or you can go here to get an instant 20% coupon.

VERY good software, and much better than the names you are probably more familiar with.

4) ONLINE BACKUP – If you have a local backup, why do you need an offline backup, too?

Well, there are two VERY important reasons. First, if you are travelling and lose a file — or your whole computer — you can access your online backup instantly from anywhere.

Second, if your home or office (where ever you keep your local backup) is robbed or has some other disaster (fire, earthquake, etc), you still have another backup somewhere else, safe and sound.

I use Mozy which lets you back up your entire computer — no matter how big the hard drive! And unlike many similar services (Carbonite, etc), it will also backup external USB drives.

You can get a free account to back up up to 2 Gigs of data for free at, but I gotta tell you…the full service is just $5 a month.

HIGHLY recommended.

5) PASSWORD PROTECTION – Today’s browsers like Internet Explorer and Firefox, have the ability to keep you logged into some of your favorite sites, and to even log you in automatically.

Well, I advise against memorizing your passwords using your browser. Instead, use a program like Roboform (

I have literally hundreds of websites I log into every week. If I had to type them all in by hand, I’d easily lose an hour a day both by typing the passwords and by having to remember and guess at the rest. I use Roboform, which let’s me remember just one password to unlock them all. Not only will Roboform fill in my usernames and passwords, it will fill in my address and credit card info, too. But, it’s password protection is strong, and my data — even in the wrong hands — is protected from their prying eyes. I’m glad I’ve got Roboform.

Lots of suggestions have poured into my blog at, and I’ll share some of those with you, too.

Tomorrow, I’ll give you some advice specifically on travelling with your computer. Some of it leverages on what I’ve talked about today, and some of it you probably have never thought of before.

Got any comments on today’s information? Have some additional suggestions about backing up or protecting your laptop? Go ahead and share your thoughts below.

To Your Success (and safety)

P.S. Just because you have a desktop computer instead of a laptop, that doesn’t mean this doesn’t all apply to you. It does! Your desktop PC can just as easily be stolen or damaged as your laptop. So do some real soul searching here…what would it mean to you if your computer were suddenly gone? How would you recover?

Even if you think it will never happen to you…it will, eventually.

Protect yourself now with these safety measures.