The danger of laptop theft - Macleans.ca

The danger of laptop theft

More than just a financial loss

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crime, theft, stolen laptopsWith so many students crammed into the library studying for final exams, I’ve been hearing lots of stories lately about students getting their laptops stolen.

On the University of Waterloo’s website, there’s a page about laptop security that advises students to “assume the worst” if their laptop has been stolen. “Your password has been compromised, your files have been compromised. Change passwords everywhere, watch your bank accounts carefully.”

I’m sure it’s not any worse at Waterloo than it is at any other school, but it’s horrifying to even imagine my laptop suddenly disappearing.

Never mind the whole financial side of things. Even if I could push a button and get a new laptop for free, at any given time during the semester, my laptop contains a lab report in progress, maybe a draft of an essay, a chemistry assignment, and lecture notes for an upcoming test. Not to mention all the non-school related stuff.

I’ve heard enough horror stories about hard drives crashing that I do keep a backup of most of my files. But if I’m working on a biochemistry assignment that’s due in three days, I rarely bother to save a backup. And I’m sure there isn’t a backup of every picture, video or document on my laptop, either.

And according to these stories I’ve been hearing, the thieves are other students.

-Photo courtesy of Pink Sherbet Photography