You know the old cliche, What’s good for the goose is good for the gander? Well, in matters of securing property like computers and printers, this couldn’t be truer. (FYI The tags are an important warning, but it’s the stolen items’ serial numbers the police need to fight crime.)
Enterprise asset management
Government agencies and military contractors, major corporations and huge manufactures, giant universities and small colleges, and large hospital systems ALL are obligated to safeguard capital assets by registering serial numbers and marking property with asset tags. These institutions have to do this to protect property, employees, investors and taxpayers. It’s just sound business practice that goes back decades.
So why don’t we do this at home?
I have a theory. It’s actually bases on research from the U.S. Department of Justice (gao.gov/assets/130/126467.pdf). The theory is this. If all home owners would take a few quick minutes to identify, tag and record the serial numbers of their personal property, then post warning signs on doors and windows, the amount of property crimes would greatly decrease. Today, fewer than 10% of burglaries are ever solved. It’s thought that half the time, citizens don’t even bother reporting the crime.
Think about it. How many university computer labs and gym clubs stay open 24/7 and have public access? Why don’t all the computers and printers walk off? Why doesn’t someone steal them every weekend? Is it because of a security guard? No! That isn’t why. You can fool a security guard or mug him or her. Video cameras? No! That isn’t why. Every jailbird learns form the other inmates that video footage will never lead to a conviction. Haven’t you noticed how criminals just look at the cameras?
While those are all good things to have, the largest deterrent, that every good thief knows, is that recorded serial numbers provided promptly to the police, will lead to a conviction, guaranteed! …and that means jail time (mypropertyidregistry.com/2018/01/13/national-crime-information-center-ncic). For decades, that’s why law enforcement professionals have been recommending the miniaturized version of what corporations like Google and Disney do. It’s called Operation ID, and we have simplified the strategy, making it easy and online.
If it works so well, why isn’t it being used?
So, if the strategy works so well, why don’t homeowners and small businesses register and mark property, and post warning signs on doors and windows, like the FBI and local law enforcement agencies want them to do? That is the million dollar question. Sure, it’s not fun to register your stuff. It isn’t exactly sexy to register your stuff. It’s not the most convenient strategy either. It is, however, important.
In fact, the cost of doing nothing opens you up to several more unfun things. I can’t promise that installing my system will be fun, but I can promise it can be efficient and it will eliminate problems in the long run. Not everything in life is simple and easy. A small amount of effort is needed, but not too much.