Laptop Security Device - How-To Protect Hardware and Data

By: Jr Lang

It is great to be able to take your computer with you and use itanywhere. But with these benefits comes a risk of theft. Obviouslytheft is more likely to happen when an object can be picked up andcarried away. Laptop security devicesare important to prevent your laptop from being stolen as well as toprevent the data from your laptop being retrieved and used in the eventthat your laptop is a victim of theft.

9 WAYS TO PREVENT LAPTOP THEFT

1. Don't use computer bags, while these maybe fashionable andcomfortable they make it obvious that you are carrying a laptop. Tryusing a padded briefcase or suitcase instead.

2. Make sure your laptop is always with you. Do not checklaptopsin with your luggage while traveling. Never leave your laptop in yourcar in plain sight or any valuable objects for that matter. There hasbeen a recent increase of car burglaries stemming from people leavingvaluables in plain sight. Lock all valuables in the trunk.

3. Never leave access numbers or passwords in your carrying case. Keeping your password with your laptopis like keeping the keys in the car. Without your password or importantaccess numbers it will be more difficult for a thief to access yourpersonal and corporate information.

4. Keep your eye on your laptop. When you go through airport securitydon't lose sight of your bag. Hold your bag until the person in frontof you has gone through the metal detector. Many bags look alike andyours can easily be lost in the shuffle.

5. Avoid setting your laptop on the floor. Putting your laptop on thefloor is an easy way to forget or lose track of it. If you have to setit down, try to place it between your feet or against your leg (soyou're always aware it's there).

6. Use a screen guard when in public. This prevents people from lookingover your shoulder and seeing sensitive information. This is especiallyhelpful when you're traveling or need to work in a crowded area.
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7. Do not leave your laptop unsecured in your hotel room. Thingssometimes tend to get lost in hotel rooms and are never secure. If youmust leave your laptop in the room then use a security cable to attachit to a stable object, such as the desk or bedpost. Another good thingto do is leave the "do not disturb" sign on the door.

8. Make sure that everything that can be labeled is labeled with thename of the individual or organization that owns it, and ensure thatthese labels are conspicuous. The potential theft value of a laptop orperipheral is reduced greatly when additional work is required toremove the identifying marks. Conspicuous identity labels alsosignificantly increase the risk of a potential thief being caught inthe act of theft.

9. Buy a laptop security device. The next section details some options for laptop security devices.

LAPTOP SECURITY DEVICE:

Laptop Cable:
One of the most inexpensive and effective laptop security devices is a cable.Very much like a bicycle lock, this cable attaches to your laptop andallows you to lock it to a stationary object. The cable makes it muchmore difficult for someone to steal your laptop.

Laptop Tracing Programs:
These programs will report the location of a stolen laptop. They workwhen the laptop connects to the Internet, and can report the laptop'sexact physical location.

Motion Sensors and Alarms:
Unexpected loud noises make people wake up and take notice, somethingthat aspiring thieves find very discouraging. Laptop security companiesrealize this and have created alarms for portable computers.
While the signaling mechanism of an alarm system is usually the same,the triggering mechanisms are both varied and specialized. The idea isthat if the user moves out of range of the device, or the laptop ismoved out of range of the user, the alarm will sound. Thus, if someonetries to steal or remove the laptop, the alarm will sound, drawingattention to the theft.

Another possibility is to buy an alarm that relies on nothing more than movement of the object that it is attached to.

LAPTOP SECURITY DEVICES THAT PREVENT DATA ACCESS:

Security measures available in order to prevent access to data on your laptop in the event that it is taken.

Set a BIOS password:
Most laptops offer protection by allowing the owner to set a bootpassword. Typically most will prompt the user three times to enter apassword, then refuse to boot if there are three failures.

Set a Login Password:
Set a login name/password that way in order to successfully login in to a laptop, the user must provide that information. If the login entered is incorrect, the operating system will refuse to allow entry.

Encryption:
One of the best laptop security devices are file encryption programs,which, encrypt files on your laptop. A private unlock key is providedto the user, and as long as your private key is kept safe, no one butyou and your intended recipients will be able to view your data.

Biometric Fingerprint Readers:
Another great laptop security device is the Biometric Fingerprint Reader.The idea behind biometrics is to use the uniqueness of certain featuresof a user, such as retinal pattern, fingerprints, and even typingcharacteristicsArticle Search, to accurately identify and authorize persons. Thistype of laptop security device would provide a hardware level ofauthentication that would require authentication before the machinewould even boot up.

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