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Is your laptop the "Bait Car"?

Have you seen this TV show "Bait Car"? I was watching TV the other night and this show came on. I've never seen the show before, but I was fascinated by it. The police leave a car by the side of the road with the keys in it, sometimes they leave the door open, and sometimes they even leave it running! Then they wait. Unfortunately, they don't usually have to wait very long.

People are walking by the car, some start to get curious and look inside, and before long one of them will jump in and take off. The cops aren't far behind, and they are armed with a kill switch that stops the car cold and even locks the thief inside. The car is also rigged up with cameras so you can watch and hear the conversation when two people jump in the car. You have to laugh at the stupidity of some of these thieves. I know, nobody ever accused thieves of being rocket scientists, but when one guy says to the other guy, "This looks like a bait car," and they decide to steal it anyway…

I did feel a little sorry for some of these people that seemed so down on their luck. It was almost like someone putting an open bottle of alcohol down in front of a wino and asking him to make sure nobody takes it! Let's face it, times are still tough, and this kind of "opportunity theft" is higher than ever. Whenever the economy goes down, crime goes up. It's just a fact of life.

thief walking away with a laptopNow imagine how much easier it is to put a laptop under your arm than it is to drive a car away and you can begin to understand why over 500,000 laptops are stolen every year.

The vast majority of laptop theft in this country isn't pulled off by master criminals in ski masks that have cased your joint for 2 weeks. It's committed by the student employee in your office that walks by the empty office with the laptop on the desk. It's committed by the visitor that sees the presentation laptop sitting on the empty podium, or the projector on the table in the training room. It's committed by the regular Joe that walks by 3 other laptops in the coffee shop that have people nearby or have a lock on them, then they see your laptop and you've gone to get a napkin.

You've left your "keys in the ignition" and this guy sees a spotlight from heaven lighting up your laptop and the choir singing Hallelujah in the background. When people are hurting in a down economy, they are more likely to be tempted.

So what do you do about it?

No, you don't need to go out and buy high-end security locks and tracking software for all your laptops! Yes, there are some companies and government offices that need that level of protection, but for most of us, we just need to be a little more prudent. For personal laptops, keeping a closer eye on it, for business laptops, keeping certain doors closed and keeping laptops out of public areas makes a huge difference. Buying a few locks is a cheap way to get a lot of protection.computer lock securing a laptop

We've got a great saying in our office that the main goal of our Economy line of locks is to "keep honest people honest". Okay, the saying is a bunch of bull, since if they were really honest in the first place, they probably wouldn't be tempted by the bait car. But the truth remains that even the low end locks will prevent 95% of theft. 95% of the people on that TV show would never steal that car if the keys weren't in it.

And for your personal laptop, if you do decide to ask someone to watch it for you when you go to the bathroom at your local Starbucks, at least make sure it is someone else with a laptop. People are far less likely to be tempted by something they already have…

(Give us a call at (800) 466-7636 and we will be glad to help you determine your threat level and what security devices will work best for your situation).