CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - When something of yours is stolen, you feel violated and maybe even a little lost. With how we live our lives today, having your computer stolen can leave you open to identity theft, loss of pictures and memories, loss of birthday reminders.
If you don't take action after filing that police report, you may be left wide open to fraud or identity theft. There are a few steps they need to take to prevent a disaster from becoming a catastrophe.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR COMPUTER IS STOLEN
This checklist takes 10 minutes or less - AFTER you call Law Enforcement and your Insurance company, take these precautions.
SITES YOU VISIT: take some time to write out a list of all the sites you visit that might require an id/password.
Examples might include:
WARN YOUR CONTACTS:
Send an email out to friends, family, and others in your address book. Let them know that your computer was stolen and ask them to call or text you if they begin receiving messages from "you" that do not seem legitimate. Let your boss know the computer was stolen if you believe any company information might be at risk.
PROTECT YOURSELF FROM FURTHER LOSSES:
List out all bank accounts, credit cards, and other sensitive accounts you may have. If you think they could be compromised, call those companies to have your account flagged. Call the credit bureau and ask them to flag your credit file.
CALL THE COMPUTER MANUFACTURER:
Call Customer Care for the manufacturer of the computer. Many computer companies work closely with law enforcement and can let them know if they see the computer come back online.
You can actually use the free service, http://www.stolencomputers.org/ , to log your computer as stolen and to search for your computer.
Track auction sites such as Craigslist and eBay to see if someone tries to sell your computer. If you can confirm the serial #, contact law enforcement. Do not try to recover the computer without guidance from law enforcement.
There is a free program called LaptopLock at www.thelaptoplock.com. You register your computer and the steps you want taken if your laptop is stolen. If your laptop is stolen, you can log in and send commands to your computer.
Track http://www.stolencomputers.org/ which allows you to search by serial number and list your com