tips including preventing theft, laptp data protection , and
have become essential tools in both our business and personal lives.
allow us to get work done anywhere, whether that's on a business trip,
library or coffee shop, or comfortably on the couch, in front of the
very features that make a laptop so convenient, however, are also
make it vulnerable to theft. Laptop hardware is small, portable and
valuable, and the information stored on an average laptop is even more
- whether it's personal data or corporate information.
Preventing Laptop Theft - Laptop Security Tips
important thing you can do to protect your laptop and its contents is
never leave it unattended. Don't give thieves a chance to even try
When out in public, never put it down or let it out of your sight. If
put it down, place it between your feet so that you can still feel it
your laptop in the car, and if you must, be sure it is out of sight.
traveling, always take your laptop as a carry-on; never pack it in your
luggage. Be especially careful going through airport security.
laptop bag looks the same, and it's easy for yours to go missing in the
shuffle. Wait until the person before you has cleared security before
your bag on the conveyor belt to be scanned, and pick it up right away
other side. Better yet, if you can, use a buddy system. Have someone
traveling with go through first so that they can collect your laptop
bag for you
on the other side. You can further protect your laptop by carrying it
backpack rather than a laptop case, making it a less obvious target.
laptop safe at home and in the office as well. Use a docking station to
your computer down, or put it and any laptop accessories out of sight
(preferably in a locked drawer) when
they're not in use. Laptop safes (or laptop lockers) are available to
store your computer in a closet, desk or car trunk. The same applies in
rooms, where theft is even more likely. Don't leave your laptop sitting
when you're not in your room. It's wise to hang a "do not disturb" sign
door, and take advantage of the room safe if there is one.
Theft Deterrents - Laptop Security Tips
point of the laptop is its portability, though, isn't it? You can't
it places, and you can't keep it out of sight while you're using it.
a number of steps you can take to discourage potential thieves.
foremost, invest in a laptop lock. These are cheap and easy to use.
laptops have a Universal Security Slot that will accept any laptop
Simply tether your computer to an immovable piece of furniture or
best protection, look for sturdy cable and cylinder lock (not a tumbler
These locks can be broken, of course, but they make your laptop a much
You can go
one step further with a laptop alarm. A variety of alarms are
will sound when anything is unplugged from your computer, some detect
movement of the laptop, and some are triggered if the computer is
a designated perimeter. Regardless of the trigger, all will sound an
ear-splitting 110 decibel alarm if anyone attempts to steal your
drawing instant attention and (hopefully) scaring them off.
you should apply conspicuous, indelible ID labels to your laptop and
removable components. Visible labels let potential thieves know you
steps to protect your property. The best labels leave indelible tattoos
thief tries to remove them. This very simple form of theft deterrent
help you to recover your laptop if it does get stolen.
Data Protection - Laptop Security Tips
data on your laptop is probably more valuable to you than the hardware
make sure you have taken precautions to protect it, as well.
a good password. Don't choose something obvious (like your name, or
"password"). Make your password at least 8 characters long, and include
combination of upper case, lower case, numbers and symbols. A
password is harder to break, but it's also harder to remember. Be sure
store your password anywhere on the computer or in your laptop case.
you can't count simply on your Windows password: savvy thieves can get
this pretty easily. Regularly back up your hard drive, to be sure you
have a copy of recent work should anything happen to your laptop. To
information falling into the wrong hands, store minimal data on the
itself. Use an external hard drive or remove the
internal hard drive when not in use,
and keep it separate from the laptop.
further protect sensitive information by encrypting part or all of your
drive. This is easily done with Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows
there are separate software packages you can buy to do an even better
will protect your files even if the hard drive is removed and run on
a Stolen Laptop - Laptop Security Tips
even software applications you can invest in to help with the retrieval
laptop in the event that it is stolen. Tracking software, for example,
signal to a tracking company every time the computer connects to the
If the thief uses your computer to access the Internet, his location
narrowed down by tracking the IP address and access point used.
applications allow you to control your laptop remotely while the thief
online. You can retrieve data, delete or encrypt confidential files,
programs or even have your webcam snap and upload photos of the thief.
services will do all of this for you automatically as soon as you
not you have this type of security software, make sure you record your
serial number in a safe place to use in police reports and insurance
Report the theft right away to the police, and to your employer if it
company-issued computer. Let your employee know of any confidential
client information that was lost. Finally, consult the FTC about steps
to protect yourself from identity theft.
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