Losing a laptop at any time is a painful experience. Never leave yours visible and unattended even “for just a minute.” Backup everything you don’t want to lose or recreate (e.g., to a CD/DVD or external hard drive) – because losing a laptop can take all of the fun out of a term.
If you do lose it, your chances of recovery are much better if you can readily provide law enforcement with identifying information (e.g., make, model, serial number). Use the Google Docs tool to record and immediately access this information, anytime, anyplace.
Also, consider installing laptop tracking software such as Prey, available FREE at preyproject.com.
Finally, when in public places, secure your laptop with a cable lock (available on loan at the Library and Campus Center).