- Use visual deterrents. A cable lock or other locking mechanism can act
as a deterrent to would-be criminals. Although they can be ripped off
the plastic exterior of a laptop with a strong tug, they do force some
criminals to think twice before taking the risk.
Avoid leaving unsecured laptops unattended. Lock them in cabinets,
safes or other secure facilities when not in use. If they must be left
in a vehicle, they should be covered up or locked in the trunk.
- Keep laptops inconspicuous. Laptops should always be carried in generic carrying cases, such as backpacks or tote bags, instead of tell-tale laptop bags.
Use complex passwords and change them regularly. Don't use simple
passwords that can be guessed easily. Always use a combination of
numbers and letters and never leave your password in obvious places on
or near the computer.
Leverage anti-virus software, encryption solutions, anti-spyware and
firewalls. Prevent unauthorized access and spyware from invading your
computer and protect valuable information with data encryption
software. Make sure your systems are properly installed and kept
Back up valuable data on a scheduled basis. Data backup needs to happen
as frequently as possible to minimize risk in the event of theft or
loss. The information or "knowledge" that is stored on the computer is
often more valuable than the computer itself.
- Understand the dangers of pirated software and file sharing. Both
piracy and over-deployment of purchased licenses can lead to
significant lawsuits or other financial penalties. Not only is it
illegal, but pirated software can increase susceptibility to viruses,
Trojans and other attacks.
- Check your insurance policy. In the event of a loss, some homeowner's
insurance policies will cover computers that are taken outside the
home. If a student lives in a dormitory, renters’ insurance may be in
- Use asset tracking and recovery software. Install an asset tracking and
recovery tool such as Computrace LoJack for Laptops
(www.lojackforlaptops.com) to track and recover a computer that is lost
or stolen. Computrace LoJack for Laptops' Student Edition includes
remote data deletion capabilities, which significantly reduce the risk
of identity theft if your laptop is stolen.
—Courtesy of ARAcontent