PC World magazine rounds up eight tips to stop thieves from stealing your laptop, the most obvious-yet-effective of which is simply locking it up. Apart from their suggestion that you encrypt your hard drive (we'd recommend the cross-platform TrueCrypt for that), all of their suggestions require you to throw down a bit of cash. If you're not up to spending any money but you still want to beef up your laptop security, hit the jump for a look at a few no-cost solutions for guarding your laptop against thieves.
- Windows freeware app LaptopLock integrates with the LaptopLock web site to bring added file security, stolen notifications, and tracking of your stolen laptop. LaptopLock isn't much of an alarm system, but you may be glad you installed it if your laptop is ever stolen.
- Turn your motion-sensing MacBook into an FTP-backed-up security camera using MacBook alarm system iAlertU (original post).
- Turn your Windows laptop-with-webcam into a motion-sensing security camera with freeware application Yawcam (original post).
- Windows-only Laptop Alarm (original post) locks your computer and monitors for suspicious behaviour, sounding an alarm if someone tries using or unplugging your computer, for example.
If you've got a good set of methods for protecting your laptop from thieves—both before and after a theft has taken place—let's hear about it in the comments.