Monday, February 1, 2010

9 ways to increase the security of your laptop while on the road

Using your laptop to get work done away from your
office or on the road is becoming widely accepted. But this rapid growth
in laptop computing has made portable systems the target for theft
around the world. If your laptop computer is stolen, company information
can be exposed, as well as your personal and financial information.

these 9 tips to learn how you can keep your laptop more secure when
you're on the road.

1. Avoid using computer

Computer bags can make it obvious that you're carrying a
laptop. Instead, try toting your laptop in something more common like a
padded briefcase or suitcase.

2. Never
leave access numbers or passwords in your carrying case

your password with your laptop is like keeping the keys in the car.
Without your password or important access numbers it will be more
difficult for a thief to access your personal and corporate information.

3. Carry your laptop with you

Always take
your laptop on the plane or train rather then checking it with your
luggage. It's easy to lose luggage and it's just as easy to lose your
laptop. If you're traveling by car, keep your laptop out of sight. For
example, lock it in the trunk when you're not using it.

4. Encrypt your data

If someone
should get your laptop and gain access to your files, encryption can
give you another layer of protection. With Windows XP, Windows Vista,
and Windows 7 you can choose to encrypt files and folders. Then, even if
someone gains access to an important file, they can't decrypt it and
see your information. Learn more about how to encrypt
your data with Windows XP
, encrypt
your data with Windows Vista
, or encrypt
your data with Windows 7

5. Keep
your eye on your laptop

When you go through airport security
don't lose sight of your bag. Hold your bag until the person in front of
you has gone through the metal detector. Many bags look alike and yours
can easily be lost in the shuffle.

Avoid setting your laptop on the floor

Putting your laptop on the
floor is an easy way to forget or lose track of it. If you have to set
it down, try to place it between your feet or against your leg (so
you're always aware it's there).

7. Buy a
laptop security device

If you need to leave your laptop
in a room or at your desk, use a laptop security cable to securely
attach it to a heavy chair, table, or desk. The cable makes it more
difficult for someone to take your laptop. There are also programs that
will report the location of a stolen laptop. They work when the laptop
connects to the Internet, and can report the laptop's exact physical
location. One such tracing program is ComputracePlus.

8. Use a screen guard

These guards help prevent people from peeking over your shoulder as
you work on sensitive information in a public place. This is especially
helpful when you're traveling or need to work in a crowded area. This
screen guard from Secure-It
is just one example of a screen guard you could use.

9. Try not to leave your laptop in your hotel room
or with the front desk

Too many things have been lost in hotel
rooms and may not be completely secure. If you must leave your laptop in
your room, put the "do not disturb" sign on the door.

What to do if your laptop is

  • Change your network password to help
    secure access to corporate servers.

  • Report the theft to local authorities (police, etc.) and to your
    company's IT department.

  • If
    customer data was on the laptop, contact your account representative,
    legal representative, or appropriate person at your company so they can
    take the appropriate actions.

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