Have Laptop, Will Travel: Keeping Data Secure
Fri, Jun 8th, 2012
If you're a business owner in Minnesota, you may have employees who take company laptops and smartphones with them during their summer travels. This is wonderfully convenient because it allows employees to stay in touch and work while they are in distant locales. It is also risky, however, because chances are those laptops and smartphones contain important customer and business records-data that should never land in the wrong hands.
This could have devastating consequences for your business; not only could you lose information that is crucial to its functioning (remember to back everything up!), but you could find yourself faced with numerous lawsuits from angry customers whose identities have been stolen as a result of their personal information such as names, credit card numbers, phone numbers, social security numbers, etc.being exposed.
How can you keep your company data secure when employees are roaming the nation the globe-while toting the portable technology on which it is stored? Consider the following tips to improve security on portable electronic devices:
- Install tracking software on your laptop, which enables it to check into a tracking center regularly via a traceable signal. In the event that the laptop is stolen, the tracking agency can collaborate with police, phone companies, and internet service providers to locate and promptly retrieve it, hopefully, before it is too late.
- Use a cable lock to attach your laptop to an unmovable object. This is a great way to prevent laptop theft in places like hotel rooms, as well as in cafes and airports, where there is almost always a need to step away for "just a minute" to use the restroom. A few seconds is all it takes for a laptop to disappear.
- Consider biometric identification systems, which require laptop users to logon using their fingerprints and can decrease a laptop's vulnerability to hacking.
- Be on alert when passing through or staying in such locales as airports and hotels, as well as when attending conferences and conventions. Unsurprisingly, seasoned computer thieves target business travelers in these situations, just waiting for them to turn their backs for a moment, or even creating distractions so they have the opportunity to snatch a laptop.
- Windows users can utilize the NTFS file system, which protects data from laptop thieves.
- Windows users can also disable the guest account on their laptops, which restricts anyone other than the computer's administrator from logging on.
- It may seem like common sense, but don't set your smartphone down on a bar, table, desk, or other surface in a public area where it can be easily forgotten and/or swiped. Likewise, don't stash it in a pocket or open bag.
- Set a smartphone to lock or time out after a period of inactivity, so that a password will be required to get it going again.
- Create a complex password for your smartphone; never use "1234" or something similarly simple.
- Set up a remote wipe service, which will enable you to have all data remotely cleared from your smartphone in the event that it is stolen.
All of these tips are helpful, but the most important thing for employees to remember is to simply be aware. Distractions abound, especially when we find ourselves in unfamiliar, exciting new territory, and it's important to keep in mind just how much valuable information can be contained in one small, sleek device.
For more information about workplace insurance, Call or contact Town & Country Insurance.
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