Thieves are always looking for an easy target, but the following two stories show that law-enforcement’s efforts in prevention and tracking stolen laptops is getting equally crafty. In the UK, a woman has been sentenced to jail for stealing a laptop thanks to evidence provided by a keylogger that was loaded and running while the thief was using the stolen goods. This in itself isn’t newsworthy since we’ve heard about keyloggers catching thieves before. What is interesting is that the prosecution did not have any physical evidence – the stolen laptop was never found. This could be an interesting precedent in future laptop crimes.

In Vancouver, law enforcement have been using bait laptops to catch would-be thieves in the act. Since the program has been in effect, laptop crimes have been reduced by 30%. When I was in undergrad, I watched a campus police officer take a sleeping student’s laptop, waited 5 minutes, and then woke up the unsuspecting victim to give them a lesson on vigilance and prevention.

You should lock your laptop with a cable, take it with you, or put some adorable furry animal on it – perhaps the cuteness will make a thief re-examine their life and amend their ways.

Practice safe mobile computing this Christmas - Mobile  1

According to TGDaily:
Quote: “The software collected included her home address, credit card details and passwords to social networking sites through keylogging. It also recorded all emails sent and received, IM/Chat messaging, websites visited and searches made.

As the Vaio was never recovered, the guilty verdict was achieved solely on the basis of monitored data from the laptop. Police did not have the laptop as evidence for the prosecution.”