We don't like to think about it, but theft happens. Whether you're out of town on a trip or you're just really prone to dropping things, here are some key strategies to put in place this weekend and make sure none of your stuff gets lost or stolen.
Protect Your Gadgets With Software
As gadget geeks, the first thing we worry about losing is our tech. Fortunately, there are a lot of great ways to keep it all protected, from laptops to smartphones to cameras.
The first step is to make sure your contact information is readily available on all your gadgets. You can do that by making it your laptop's password hint, your smartphone lock screen wallpaper, or the first photo on your SD card. Android users can also use an app like misHaps that integrates those details into the lock screen. That way, if your phone gets found by a good Samaritan, you've made it easy for them to return it.
However, not everyone is so nice. When it comes to protecting your gadgets from theft, we recommend Prey for recovering your stolen laptop, iPhone, or Android phone. It will send you your laptop's location, screenshots of the screen, and even a webcam photo of your thief. And we've actually seen it work, too. Photographers can use CameraTrace to find lost cameras, and Android users have apps like Plan B to locate their phone after it has been stolen, even if they didn't install it before the incident. If you think the thief might be someone closer to you, there are always ways to find out if someone has been secretly been using your computer.
Protect Your Home By Deterring Thieves
So you've got your portable gadgets covered, but what about your actual house? If you're going on holiday, you'll want to create a good home inventory so you can tell if anything's missing when you come home. You can also create a simple, motion-detecting webcam security system so you can keep a watchful eye from your phone or laptop. Store your valuables somewhere no one would think to look, such as the kitchen, to keep them safe.
Even better, though, is to stop thieves before they even get inside. The best way to do this is to make it look as if you're home. You can do this by setting up a few motion sensing lights, or letting your neighbours use your driveway (and if they have an off-color car, that's even better). Lastly, if you're the DIY type, you can create an alarm to secure your bike, or anything else you don't want stolen.
Protect The Rest of Your Stuff With Clever Tricks
Unfortunately, it isn't quite as easy to track the rest of your low-tech stuff, but there are still things you can do to protect specific items. We've shared ways to make your pockets virtually theft-proof, as well as protecting the wallet within with a baby picture. You can also make your valuables look undesirable by uglying up your camera. And, as always, thinking like a thief can help you keep them at bay, whether it's learning how to steal a watch or pick a lock. Just remember to use those powers for good, not for evil.