Protecting your Device from Theft

Laptop and Tablet owners should take great care to protect their property from thief.  Having to replace a device can cost a considerble amount of money. There also could be the additional cost of replacing the data contained on the device and the possible statutory and legal implication can sometimes cost more than having to replace the hardware itself.

The following are tips you should consider to ensure the safety of your Laptop and Tablet devices.

Laptop

Do:

  • Treat your laptop like cash. You wouldn't leave a large amount of cash unattended in a public place!
  • Consider using a padded briefcase or a backpack instead of an obvious laptop case.
  • Be on guard in airports and hotels.  Be extra vigilant when passing through security screenings and store your laptop in the hotel safe.
  • Consider an alarm for your laptop.  Some alarms are motion senstive or deploy when the computer is taken out of a specific range.
  • Consider alarm applications which show the location of the device when it is connected to the internet.
  • Personalise the physical appearance of your laptop to distinguish it from others of the same make\model.
  • Record the laptop's serial numbers,  use a UV pen to mark it with your contact details and take pictorial record of your security markings as proof of ownership.
  • Set up password access to the laptop.
  • Configure your screen saver to require a password.
  • Never allow your web browser to automatically supply a password for you. If you do, it means that anyone at your computer can access that site under your account.
  • Backup data to network storage or storage devices regularly.
  • Encrypt  confidential or sensitive data.

Don't:

  • Leave your laptop unattended. Every time you leave your device consider what can’t be replaced if you lose it.  If you have to, lock it or leave it with a trusted friend or colleague.
  • Put your laptop on the floor in a public area. You cannot see it and it could be easly be taken without your knowledge.
  • Never leave laptops in unattended car. Avoid leaving laptops in the car boot;  you never know who is watching you!
  • Keep passwords with your laptop or in its case.  Just like you wouldn't leave your pin number beside your ATM card!

Tablet

Many of the same tips for the laptop can be applied to tablets devices with the following additions.

  • Always maintain physical control of your tablet as if it falls in to the wrong hands the information stored could be accessed and exploited.
  • If you lose your device consider the fact that all data contained on it may be compromised and you should take appropritate action to remedy this.
  • Make sure you maintain, update and use the lastest edition of security software offered by the manufactures of the device.
  • Use the Auto Lock functions on your device.  This fuction will lock your device automatically after a period of non use.  This should be used in conjunction with a password, which should not be kept with  the device.
  • Ensure you are the administrator password holder.  Many devices have a function to erase data after ten failed password attempts.
  • Consider disabling the password and user name recall function on your device.
  • "Jail breaking" is a term that refers to the process of modifying the tablet device's operating system in violation of the end user license agreement. This reduces the device's ability to resist attackes because it disables the enforcement of code signatures, which is an important security feature.
  • Jail breaking makes it easier for an attacker to accessed and exploited your device. The applications used for Jail breaking may in fact be corrupt and could destory your data.
  • Turn off your Bluetooth function and avoid using untrustworthy Wifi.  You have little or no protection for data sent or received by your device as it could be intercepted.