Stolen IT Equipment: How to Prevent Theft at Work

Stolen IT Equipment: How to Prevent Theft at Work

It’s a wonderful Monday morning. After having a great weekend, you drive to your office, ready to hustle for the week. You have to meet with a potential client for morning coffee and need to talk to a supplier about a new line of product that could be a hit this season later in the day. All is well.

Arriving at your office after the morning meeting, your Manager is suddenly rushing to you, bringing up bad news: Your server was gone. With your customer’s data. The suspect? Your bad performing, toxic ex-employee that you had just fired last week.

Your day seems to end before it begins. Luckily, you have all the data backed up in the cloud. But what about the stolen data? A big mess to clean up, pronto.

The moral of the story? If you think that thieves refer to those outside your organization, think again. Chances are, your own employees can be the culprits.

A recent survey released by Data Label reveals that 20 percent of the survey respondents admitted that they have stolen something from their workplace. This is a worrying trend.

Now what to do? You can’t just treat your employees like criminal (i.e. Putting up a sign that says “Don’t steal or I cut your hand – signed: Boss”); seriously speaking, that would be devastating to the overall mood of the office, which can cause low productivity, morale and job satisfaction.

Fortunately, there are still ways.

5 ways to prevent theft at work (and never lose that Macbook – again!)

The best thing you can do is to minimize the risk of theft at workplace, and here are some of the ways to do it:

1. Use security labels

Security labels stick to your IT equipment really well. You can mark the equipment with owner/business information, which in turn making reselling the stolen equipment much more difficult. Better yet, there are security labels such as those from Data Label that are made of tamper evident vinyl or printed “void” polyester that will leave the word “void” when the label is removed.

2. Use laptop locks

Laptop lock

You can attach your laptop to a lock, which prevent it from being taken away when you’re not around. Kensington lock is a good choice, but if it’s not available, try Targus.

3. Use access control systems

Limit access to crucial part of your business, such as server room, only to those who is responsible for it. This way you can always track who’s in charge of the equipment inside.

4. Brief your staffs

You may hate doing it, but it’s necessary: Brief your staffs that theft in the workplace is not acceptable, and will result in disciplinary action, fine or report to the police

5. Track everything

Consider having an inventory system that tracks every equipment owned by your company: Where it is right now, who use it, etc. Using asset tags, barcodes, etc., you can easily get the records of your equipment.

Bonus: Backup your data

Cloud backup and storage

When it comes to IT, risks are everywhere: Theft, natural disaster, power cuts, broken equipment, cyber attacks, etc. The best prevention that you can do with your data is by backing it up, preferably to a different location. Cloud-based services can offer you a great solution for backing up your data because they are off-premise and add an extra layer of security, as cloud services are typically using high-grade data protection system.

This may not directly prevent IT equipment theft, but this definitely helps to protect what’s inside the equipment.


Preventing IT equipment theft from happening requires a lot of preventive actions. It’s a must-do, however. If you just don’t have the resources to do so, consider consulting with trusted IT security specialists for the best options for your company.

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