Simple tips to protect your laptop:
- Protect your laptop with a strong password: If you travel with your laptop frequently, you should secure it with a strong password. A good password would be combination of alpha numeric and special characters. E.g. c00lWelc0me! … using zero instead of ‘o’
- Back up before you go: Always back up your information before you take your laptop on a trip. You can’t always avoid the financial loss of your equipment, but you can avoid losing all your information in the process.
- Be careful what you store on your thumb drives: With the growing popularity and increasing memory capabilities of small flash drives (known as “thumb drives”) comes a greater risk of information theft. If you travel with a thumb drive, try not to store sensitive information on it. If you lose the drive or if the drive is stolen it’s easy for anyone to access that information.
- Don’t leave your laptop or its carrying case in plain view in the car; lock it up in the trunk. If they can’t see it they can’t steal it.
- When staying in a hotel, the best practice is to take it with you or to lock it up in an in room safe. If a safe is not available then use a physical cable lock. You may also want to hang up a do not disturb sign on your door.
- NEVER leave your laptop for even a second especially in busy airports. It just takes a minute to be distracted, which is enough in most cases for someone to walk away with your laptop.
Some sophisticated techniques:
- Data Encryption: Full disk encryption (FDE) can be taken on from a software-based approach, a hardware-based approach, or both – end-based approach. FDE can especially be effective against cold boot attacks and provides protection before the operating system starts up with pre-boot authentication. List of products. Encrypt your data with Windows XP Professional.
- Remote Laptop Security (RLS) is available to confidently secure data even when the laptop is not in the owner’s possession. With Remote Laptop Security, the owner of a laptop can deny access rights to the stolen laptop from any computer with Internet access.
Recommended reading and sources
- Laptop Security Tips
- Laptop Protection – tips from Microsoft
- CNET tips
- Mobile Computing
- Best Data Encryption options
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