The single biggest difference between a desktop and laptop computer is portability. This fact alone means you have to take extra steps to protect your laptop from the unscrupulous. I have put together a checklist for you to make you take the basic precautions in securing your laptop for your travels.
Before you leave and something that you should have done already
- Backing up – Before you even leave your office make sure to back-up all your data files so just in case you something bad happens you will always have copies of them.
- What’s the Password? – Make sure that you have password protection enabled on your laptop.
- Strong Enough? – May sure the password is strong one mix up some letters and numbers and throw in an odd car or two.
- Good Screening – Set your screen saver to a shorter time period before it starts (make sure to check the box next to the minutes that says on resume password protect.
- Blocked the entrances – Make sure you have a firewall enabled.
- Spy Stuff – If you have very important documents encrypting the file or folder is a must.
- Make sure your antivirus software is up to date and running properly.
- Use an anti-malware software to help protect yourself.
- If your laptop has a fingerprint reader, webcam with facial recognition software or other types of built-in security feature make sure they are enabled.
- Multiple Personalities – If you are the only one that uses your computer and you do not have an IT guy who has set the user rights then you are the administrator of your laptop and can do anything. Consider creating another user say “first name” with limited right restricting the access to the specific program and adding of any new programs. That way if you leave your computer the bad guys cannot install a malice program.
- Wi-Fi – Don’t say anything that you would not want everyone to know. Public (i.e. free) Wi-Fi is great for accessing the web but unless you are using a VPN your communications are open for anyone to sniff out and use. So do not do your online banking or buy something with a credit card transaction unless you want to help strangers live large in Hollywood.
- Keep it in sight – No matter want else you do you have to keep physical possession of your laptop or else everything only help may it hard for the bad guys to get your data.
Back-up – So I am going to assume that you did buy an external disk drive to backup weekly like I told you in my article for the newbie. This is by far the easiest way to back up your laptop and again make backing up a habit like before you go to dinner or to workout or even easier schedule it for a time you normally would be away from your laptop.