When we took our laptop in for repairs in Panama, we knew there was a chance it was irreparable. But we hadn’t thought it might get stolen. The owner of the store claimed he was robbed and that our laptop was one of the very few items stolen. We had no way of proving otherwise, but his story seemed suspicious. Since then I’ve been looking for ways to protect our personal electronics while cruising.
You may not be able to prevent your electronic equipment from being lost or stolen, but you can increase the chances of recovering it. GPS tracking services such as LoJack have been in use for years in cars. Now you can use LoJack to find your laptop, too. The service costs money, but has a proven track record and works closely with police to help return your property to you.
Or you could try Adeona, a free system that contacts you discreetly if your laptop is stolen. An added benefit is that only the owner of a machine can track its location, not any third party.
Many digital cameras can be set up to automatically download pictures when they detect a Wi-Fi signal. If a thief uses the camera, its location may be discernible. If the thief is in any of the pictures, all the better! Similarly, cameras on laptops can be turned on remotely, providing a photo of the thief or, at least, of the person currently using your stolen laptop.
Apple devices such as iPhones, iPads, iTouches and Macs can download the “Find my iPhone” app, which displays the location of your Apple device on a map, making recovery easier. Property stickers, tracking software and other options are also available. Unfortunately, few of them work unless you think about the possibility of losing your electronics or having them stolen before it actually happens.
Photo by Connie McBride