Some estimates put the number of laptops stolen each year at more than 200,000, and that number doesn't include thefts that go unreported. In fact, businesspeople are easy targets because crooks know they usually don't report laptop thefts. But you can keep your laptop safe by following some basic guidelines. Here are some tips from the Los Angeles Police Department:

  • Keep your laptop with you when traveling. Never leave it behind, even if you're just standing up to throw something away. Thieves are everywhere and often look just as businesslike and trustworthy as you do.
  • Don't fall for the "distraction technique." Thieves often work in teams and develop elaborate schemes to catch a business traveler off guard. One common trick is for a thief to use your name and pretend to be an old acquaintance. As you search your memory trying to remember where you met him, a buddy will be making off with your laptop. Beware of anyone or anything that calls your attention away from your computer or luggage.
  • Label your laptop. Stuff the carrier full of business cards. That way, if your laptop is merely lost, whoever recovers it can find you easily. And if it's stolen, the cops might catch the thief before he or she has discovered and disposed of the business cards.