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1. Affix a label to your MacBook, marking it as your property. Hard plastic or metal labels are more difficult for thieves to remove without damaging the laptop’s case, which makes reselling your ’book much harder. Stoptheft.com sells serialized metal labels, called STOP plates, for $25.50 that require thieves to go to great lengths to remove—and if they succeed, they’ll discover that the indelible phrase “stolen property” and STOP’s toll-free number are stamped beneath it.
2. Record your MacBook’s serial number—you’ll need it if you have to fill out a police report. (Hint: The serial number is probably printed on your receipt if you bought it from Apple or a national retail chain.)
3. Setting a firmware password can prevent someone from booting your ’book from a different startup disk, so they can’t easily reformat the drive to try to sell the laptop. To set a firmware password, download and install the Open Firmware Password application (Mac OS 10.1 to 10.3.9). You can download the Open Firmware Password. If you have Mac OS 10.4 or later, copy the updated version of Open Firmware Password from the software installation disc (/Applications/Utilities/ on the disc). For additional details, check out this Apple Knowledge Base article.
4. If possible, carry your MacBook in a bag that doesn’t look like it contains a computer. Backpacks are a good choice (since there’s no guarantee that you’ve got something valuable inside), but they can also provide easy access for thieves bold enough to try swiping your ’book right out of the bag. Using a backpack that lets you anchor the zippers with a lock, like the Pacsafe MeshSafe B200, is a good idea, and there’s always the Ncase Portable Safe, which is a bit less subtle, but much more secure.
5. Find out if your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy will cover your laptop, even outside your home. If not, you can probably buy an inexpensive add-on to your policy, sometimes called a rider.