Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Although the laptop is a powerful tool in today's flexible working environment, it is also a magnet for thieves and crooks. Securing proprietary information when traveling or working away from the office is an important issue, which is often not given the priority it deserves. During 1999, Fortune 1000 companies experienced total losses of over $45 billion following the theft of proprietary information, according to the American Society for Industrial Security. A sizable percentage of this actually resulted from laptop exposure!

Although various security devices and products are available to protect laptops, the best defense against theft is still the use of common sense. The following guidelines should be considered:

In public places, keep your laptop close at hand, and be particularly vigilant when passing through airport security
Strictly confidential data should be encrypted using a strong recognized algorithm.
Carry your laptop in a non-descript case, rather than a purpose-made case
Change access passwords on a regular basis, and never use the default "save password" options
Engrave a suitable identification reference on a conspicuous place on the laptop
Ensure that important data is backed up on to suitable storage media, and always carry floppy-disks/CDs/media separately from your laptop
Disconnect any Internet connection when not in use, and ensure a firewall is used when connecting from a home DSL or other broadband connection

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