What To Do If Your Laptop Is Stolen (And How To Prepare For & Prevent It)

You’re sitting in your favorite coffee shop, working away on your laptop. You get up to go the restroom and, out of convenience, you decide to leave your laptop sitting at your table. There’s no way someone could steal it in the time you are away, right? Wrong. Laptop thieves are quick, stealthy, and rampant. You don’t want to come back to an empty table, your laptop long gone. The first step in preventing laptop prevention is to never leave your laptop unattended in public. In this blog, we will discuss a) how to prepare for possible laptop loss, b) how to prevent your laptop from being stolen and c) the steps to take if your laptop is stolen.

How to prepare for the day your laptop gets stolen

You never know when it might happen but it certainly won’t hurt if you are already prepared. First of all, password protect your laptop. Though some skilled hackers could bypass your password, many people won’t be able to. It’s your first line of defense in protecting your information. Also, don’t store a list of passwords in a word document on your website. It is best to keep them handwritten in a place no where near your laptop.

But a great password won’t stop a thief from removing your hard drive and putting it in another laptop. If they do this, they will be able to see everything. That is why you should encrypt your hard drive data. You can use a program like TrueCrypt to easily encrypt sensitive data.

Store the least amount possible on your laptop. Instead, save less-used documents and files to an external hard drive that is kept separate from your laptop, like at home. This way, if your laptop is stolen, loss will be greatly minimized.

Install a tracking application to your laptop. Here are few different tracking apps to choose from.

We can’t say it enough: backup your files regularly (daily is best) to an external drive or to a cloud backup service like Carbonite. Preparation for the day your laptop is stolen is all about minimizing loss and preventing thieves from accessing things they shouldn’t.

How to prevent your laptop from being stolen

It mainly takes common sense to prevent laptop theft. Use a cable lock when using your laptop in public. Most laptops come equipped with a small slot for one of these locks. All you have to do is loop the cable around an immovable object and you’re good to go. If you must store your laptop in your car, keep it out of plain sight. Always keep your laptop bag on your person or touching you when in public. There are plenty of cases of thieves stealing laptops that are sitting a couple of feet away from the owner. Most of all, be vigilant and don’t let it out of your site.

What to do when your laptop gets stolen

So it finally happened – your laptop was stolen. The first thing to do is to notify authorities (whether that’s the police or your employer). However, don’t expect them to pursue the case. Laptop theft is so common that police rarely locate a stolen device. Having a police report may help you if you want to claim the stolen laptop on your insurance.

Next, remotely log out of any account you can think of or change the passwords to sensitive accounts like PayPal, e-mail, and bank accounts. Call the companies of your sensitive accounts and see if they can monitor your account for suspicious activity. If you have completed the preparation steps above, you will be at less of a risk for identity theft.

Finally, you can try to get your laptop back. If you have installed a tracking program, you should be good to go. If not, you have other options. Your main goal is to obtain the IP address of the laptop. According to Trend Blog, you can do this using Facebook or Gmail.

In Facebook, go to settings, then security, then “where you’re logged in.” You will be able to a list of devices that are logged in to your account and when the session was last active. You can even see the city of the session. If you hover over the city name with your cursor, you will be given the IP address.

In Gmail, go to your inbox and click “details” under “last account activity” in the bottom right corner. You will be able to see the last ten sessions along with IP addresses.

Now that you have an IP address, what in the world do you do with it? Contact the police! With an IP address in hand, you’re much more likely to get a search warrant. The police will be able to find the exact physical location to the IP address and will able to handle it from there. Whatever you do, don’t go searching for the laptop yourself.

Lenovo Unveils New Chromebook N20 & N20P [VIDEO]

Photo via YouTube Screenshot

Lenovo recently announced the release of two new Chromebooks, the N20P and N20. Both models come with features such as the updated version of Chrome OS, an 11.6-inch monitor and an 8 hour battery life. The only downfall is that Windows apps will not work on these books-including Microsoft Office. But the books will offer a program that is similar to Microsoft Office, Google Docs.

The Chromebooks are designed for optimal performance,security and portability. Chromebooks can be used online or offline to listen to music, edit pictures, and stream movies or TV shows. The books use a “Cloud Drive”, which means that all data is stored using online remote servers. The internal storage is 16GB, but google “Cloud” offers an additional 100GB and will automatically back up your files. In short, your files will be protected from malware and viruses since there is no data stored internally to attack.

While the N20 is more like a traditional notebook, the N20p offers a full 300 degree rotating screen which props up for easy watching and typing. The added touchscreen makes switching from one website to another faster and easier. Starting price for the N20 starts at 279$, which is great for students and workers on the go!


cat-man-du Is Now The Only Authorized Lenovo Warranty Center Within 600 Miles Of The Amarillo Area

Photo courtesy of Lenovo Partner Website

At cat-man-du we have proudly serviced your business and home computers and networks in Amarillo, Canyon, and Dumas for more than a decade. Now, cat-man-du is the only Authorized Lenovo warranty center in a 600 mile radius.

If you’re having issues with your “Think” line Lenovo and it’s still under warranty, don’t ship it off! Bring it to us. We can handle it locally in our office and get you back to businesses even quicker.

If it’s not under warranty, you can still bring it to us and we’ll take care of any issues you might be having. That applies to any computer, network device, server, etc. We are your go-to company for any technology needs and we are proud to have expanded to being part of the Authorized Lenovo warranty center network.

Call 806-350-8324 with warranty or service questions regarding any of your technology.

Dell Latitude 6430u Smells Like Cat Pee And Buyers Want To Know What Dell Is Going To Do About It

If you recently purchased a new Dell  Latitude 6430u Laptop computer, then you probably noticed a little something extra with the purchase. No, not an extra stick of RAM. Buyers are reporting that their new 6430u’s are smelling like cat pee. And they’re not being that nice about it.

There is even a Dell community devoted to this called “New 6430u Smells Awful”. It’s full of colorful complaints such as “The machine is great, but smells as if it was assembled near a tomcats litterbox.” And, this is just the beginning of the colorful things people had to say about the issue.

Complaints started pouring in to dell last June and the company suggested that people clean the keyboard with a damp cloth and then blow the keyboard out with a compressed air can. According to owners, that only succeeded in blowing the stench around.

Dell finally came out with an explanation. After replacing some units and being able to investigate the recalled computers they were able to narrow it down to the devices palm rest. It was apparently a manufacturing process of the palm rest and Dell has since stopped that process and solved the issue.

Dell has asked owners of the cat-wizz computers to contact technical support and request the new palm rest.

Dell senior technical consultant SteveB has the official response, saying, “The issue was fully investigated and Dell has determined that the smell is not at all related to cat urine or any biological contaminate. Further testing revealed that there is no health hazard related to the smell.”

So, the issue is fixed. You can stop hiding your computers in dark offices or stuffing them back into laptop bags whenever you have a client “pop in.”

Lenovo’s New Bad Boy – The X1 Carbon Touch Screen

Lenovo has always had some of the toughest and well built laptops and desktops on the market, but now they have taken things to the next level. Breaking the mold from the Lenovo look and design with a new smoking fast computer that looks and feels like no other Lenovo.

The new Lenovo Carbon carries the Intel Core i7 processor running at 2 Ghz. Upgradable to 8 MB of RAM and a 240 GB solid state drive. It also comes with all the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi bells and whistles. This is a mean machine.

The feel of this laptop is a dream. A true joy to use. If you’re a Lenovo fan, you’ll love this laptop. If you’re looking for power and portability, you have found your new computer.

The keyboard might look a little different, but the feel is very close to Lenovo’s keyboards of the past. That’s a good thing as Lenovo laptops have been touted to have some of the most usable and preferred keyboard.

The X1 Carbon is super thin. Less than 3/4 of an inch thick. It’s easily light enough to hold in one hand and faster than most other laptops on the market. This Ultrabook is also dockable and usable as a full purpose desktop system.

It also has the USB port that is active even when the computer is turned off. Great for plugging in a tablet or mobile phone for charging while the computer is off.

While the Carbon isn’t a tablet and doesn’t try to be a tablet, it offers full multi-touch screen with Windows 8 (I recommend an instant upgrade to 8.1). Touch is and will continue to be a secondary point of interaction with computers, at least for a while. You won’t use the touch screen for every aspect of regular use, but it makes it easy to zoom, scroll, and many other things that we take for granted while using a point and click input.

Photo via lenovo.com


Lithium Ion Laptop Batteries Reported To Cause Housefires [VIDEO]

I recently had a client bring in her laptop several times. The first time she brought it in, we repaired the errors and she was on her way. When she got home a few hours later it didn’t seem to be working. Every time she would bring it in, it was working fine. After the 3rd time, I asked her where exactly she was keeping her computer and she replied “it usually stays on my bed”. That would be an issue that most people don’t consider. It is very dangerous to keep your laptop on a surface where it cannot breath. Not only can it over heat, it can be a serious fire hazard. It is recommend everyone keep their laptops on flat surfaces.

Over the past few years there have been more and more stories about house fires because of a laptop. The reason for the fires? Laptops being on soft surfaces and left on. Many computer manufacturers have been recalling lithium ion laptop batteries because they are highly dangerous, and can overheat bursting spontaneously into flames. Laptops should never be used or left on soft surfaces, whether it be on the carpet, couch, bed,on a paper filled desk,or dusty/dirty surfaces.

There are several ways you can avoid a fire caused by a laptop. Keep your computer away from combustible surfaces, make sure the power cord is not damaged, and also make sure your laptops vent is clean and clear of dust and lint. You can always spray air through your laptop to keep the vents clean. Another suggestion would be to run your laptop on AC with the battery removed and only use the battery when you are on the go. If a fire does occur, a good thing to remember is never use water, use a dry chemical like a fire extinguisher instead.

For more information on battery recall click here.