While many companies are focused on locking down smartphones and tablets, don’t forget the other device that can put data at risk: your laptop, especially when you’re traveling.
Whether you’re taking a laptop from the office on a business trip or just completing a few tasks from a personal machine while offsite, you could be introducing some security headaches. Here four laptop-security tips to avoid those headaches:
• Lock the front door. Requiring a password to log in should be common sense, but it’s worth mentioning. You can also take the additional step of locking up individual folders that hold sensitive info.
• Don’t keep copies of passwords. Password protection does no good if the password is written down and kept inside a laptop bag. Also, it’s a bad idea to keep a document listing passwords for important accounts stored on the computer.
• Careful when connecting to Wi-Fi. Using free, public Wi-Fi often leaves a laptop’s data open to tech-savvy users on the same network. Machines should be equipped with a VPN client to encrypt traffic. And users should verify the name of the network to avoid using a bogus hotspot set up by a cyber thief.
• Physically protect the machine. Laptops are a prime target for theft, so it’s important that a device never leaves a traveler’s sight no matter where they are. And if a machine is stolen, have a policy that the theft must be reported to IT immediately so its access to corporate servers and data can be removed.
Source: :Information Technology Adviser,” 3/15/13.