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Published on September 8th, 2014 | by Sally Wenham

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Tips To Increase Laptop Security

As most business people will be all too aware, guarding against laptop theft is paramount, particularly as there are potential breaches of what is often confidential information. So here at the Post Office Shop, we would like to provide some handy hints to increase laptop security.

We mentioned in a previous post about ID theft prevention that public Wi-Fi networks pose a significant security risk. In this instance, when sensitive business information is present on a laptop, it is even more significant. Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) will ensure that data is protected from other users of the public network and significantly reduces the risk of hacking.

Further to using a laptop in a public area, keeping it in close proximity whilst in public places is incredibly important. Protecting the machine by using a laptop bag which is comfortable to carry for long periods of time is also imperative.

If an overnight stay in a hotel is part of the itinerary, it is wise to store laptops in the hotel room safe instead of leaving it out in the room where it may be vulnerable to theft. If a company laptop is kept on company premises overnight, ensure that it is kept in a securely locked cupboard or alternatively taken home. Be vigilant to take the laptop indoors and not leave it in the car overnight. Again, ensure it is out of sight when not in use.

An additional measure to prevent physical theft of a laptop is to use a laptop lock. Most modern laptops are now equipped with fittings for a laptop lock, simply loop the locking cable around an immovable object like a desk and then insert the lock into the laptops lock slot.

Antivirus software is a must for any laptop which will be used outside of a secure corporate network. Given the stark increase in the amount of malware programs which are discovered every day; antivirus software is essential for protecting laptops against these programs which will appear to be legitimate software applications.

By using a portable drive such as an external hard drive or a USB drive, important files and sensitive information are further protected. By storing this information on an external drive as opposed to on the laptops internal hard drive, the risk of this information being obtained can be reduced.

Along with the use of portable storage media, by saving sensitive files onto network drives rather than personal drives will increase information security. Network drives are backed up frequently via an automated system, ensuring that the latest versions of documents are available.

If a laptop is taken on a flight, ensure that it is part of hand baggage rather than hold luggage. By doing this, the laptop remains in close vicinity at all times and reduces the risk of getting lost or misplaced.

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