September 28, 2015

322 words 2 mins read

Please don't give your laptop to a stranger

Who’s laptop is this? Who cares! It could be yours in just a few seconds.
You’re saying to yourself “This is silly, I would never willingly give my laptop to a complete stranger (in a public setting)". However people do “give away” their laptops, or attempt to do so on a daily basis. Just today I was attending a bootcamp (which I’ll write about another day) in the

AWS Loft SF and saw the horror that was abandoned laptops. Just like you see pictured to the right, laptops left without owners. This wasn’t just during a quick bathroom break that the machines were left, we’re talking about over lunch when most of the class had left to forage.

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So you’ll argue that I said “most” of class and that means someone was around. Of course that was true, you can see people pictured to the right. However, do any of them look like they’re vigilantly watching for laptop thieves? While I can’t speak for the other class members, I certainly couldn’t tell you who’s laptop belong to whom at another table. I don’t mean to suggest that AWS Loft is “dangerous” or crime ridden (in fact they have several Dropcams and a security guard out front), however you should be leery anytime you’re not somewhere completely safe. What’s “completely safe”? A subjective term that I mean to imply being safely locked up somewhere.

The old saying goes “Trust, but verify” and that goes for your computer’s safety. I trust that my laptop is safe because Amazon is proving adequate security at their facilities… however I’m going to verify my laptop is safe by keeping it in my bag, on my person. I don’t want to give away my machine (translation: let someone steal it) because both the device and the data are valuable to me. I suspect your computer is valuable to you too, so don’t give it away… keep it safe.