First thing you need to do is report your lost or stolen computer to the nearest police station. What other measures should you take to ensure that the data stored in the computer cannot be used in an illegal way?
Method 1. Protect personal information
The first step you should immediately take after losing your computer is to protect personal information by changing all passwords saved in the lost or stolen computer. Failure to do so may see you fall victim to a number of thefts including identity theft, bank frauds etc. If you work at a company that has an IT department, also notify them of the same so that they can keep a look out for any recurrent unauthorized failures in the username you were using.
Method 2. Track the Computer
The second thing you should do is confirm if your computer has an tracking system because most modern computers come with a tracking system. This will make it easier for you to track the location your computer. There are some options that typically come with this in-built computer tracking system; Lock, Sound and Erase. The moment you have managed to track your device, you can choose either of the three options and the computer will automatically perform the commanded function. In the event that the computer is still in the same room, you can choose the ‘Sound’ option then you will be able to hear the sound coming from your computer to locate it.
Method 3. Notify important people
You should also notify your clients and banks or someone else that your computer is lost or was stolen. All banks have measures put in place in such incidents aiming at keeping you and your account safe from fraudsters. You clients also need to be altered so that they would notify you in-case they receive any suspicious communication from your e-mail address.
Method 4. Do occasional follow-up investigations
It is important that you occasionally monitor your accounts to check if you will notice any suspicious activities. This means checking your bank account(s), e-mail accounts and social media accounts for unusual activities. Also attention to some second hand shop to see if someone will try selling your computer there.
Losing a computer or having it stolen is never an easy ordeal. Computers have become an important part of our everyday life so losing one is like losing a piece of your life. That is why you need to take the above listed measures as soon as you’ve noticed you cannot fine your computer. The sooner you react and take the measures, the lesser the damages.
Bonus: Measures you can take before you lose your computer or having it stolen:
- Using a difficult to guess password
- Turn on tracking system
- Have a record of the ID number
- Back up all files
- Avoid spaces and places where your computer is most likely to be stolen.
The above listed are just a few of the many measures you can take to protect your personal information before you lose your computer. While there are many preventative measures a person can take, what do you do if your computer is stolen or lost?