Laptop security means taking measures to protect your laptop and all of the data that is on it. Do not entrust anyone to watch or take care of your laptop, especially GGC issued laptops or desktop computers.
Tips to keep your laptop secure
- Keep your laptop locked. Whether you're using your laptop in the office, a hotel or some other public place, a security device can make it more difficult for someone to steal it. Use a laptop security cable and attach it to something immovable or to a heavy piece of furniture, like a table or desk.
- Keep your passwords elsewhere. Remembering strong passwords or access numbers can be difficult. However, leaving either in a laptop carrying case or on your laptop is like leaving the keys in your car. There's no reason to make it easy for a thief to get to your personal or corporate information.
- Get it out of the car. Don't leave your laptop in the car, including on the seat or in the trunk. Parked cars are a favorite target of laptop thieves. If you must leave your laptop behind, keep it out of sight.
- Don't leave it unattended, even "for just a minute." Your conference colleagues seem trustworthy, so you're comfortable leaving your laptop while you network during a break. The people at the coffee shop seem nice, so you ask them to keep an eye while you use the restroom. Don't leave your laptop unguarded. Take it with you if you can or use a cable to secure it.
- Pay attention in airports. Keep your eye on your laptop as you go through security. Hold onto it until the person in front of you has gone through the metal detector and keep an eye out when it emerges on the other side of the screener. The confusion and shuffle of security checkpoints can be fertile ground for theft.
- Be vigilant in hotels. If you stay in hotels, a security cable may not be enough. Try not to leave your laptop out in your room. Rather, use the safe in your room if there is one. If you're using a security cable to lock down your laptop, consider hanging the "do not disturb" sign on your door.
- Report stolen devices. If your laptop is stolen, report it immediately to the local authorities. If it's your business laptop that's missing, also immediately notify your employer. You may also wish to review the FTC's information for businesses about data breaches. If it's your personal laptop and you fear that your information may be misused by an identity thief, visit the FTC's Identity Theft page for more instructions.
- Get encrypted. If you have any kind of sensitive data on your computer, call the your employer's IT services or helpdesk and get scheduled for encryption. If you do not know if the data on your computer is sensitive, contact ITS and find out. This way even if your laptop or desktop is stolen the data on your computer is safe.
- "Lock" your computer. It is a natural habit to lock your home when you leave for work or lock your vehicle when you go into a store, but we don't always think about locking our computers. In today's environment, this habit must be developed, and it is easy to do. When you leave your PC, simply press Ctrl-Alt-Delete and then press Enter. When you return to the computer, press Ctrl-Alt-Delete and type your password to resume.
- Another method is to turn on the "lock" feature on your screen saver. This way, it will occur automatically after a set time just in case you forget. To set this feature, go to Start>Settings>Control Panel>Display on a PC. Select the screen saver tab. Set the number of minutes before the screen saver activates, then check the box to "on resume, password protect." When you return to the computer, press Ctrl-Alt-Delete and type your password to resume.