Private Security and Laptop Theft – How Secure Is Your Information?

As a private investigator, I’ve dealt with several security issues – normally in the capacity of plugging breaches after they happen. With the portable information age brought on by cell phones, PDAs and laptops, you have to be even more careful with sensitive information.

Laptops are especially vulnerable, and it has nothing to do with whether the laptop is a PC created by Windows or a Mac created by Apple. Many Mac users talk about how their computer isn’t susceptible to viruses, but the company itself won’t say that. What Apple actually says is that the Mac isn’t as susceptible.

However, in this case, I’m not talking about virus and software vulnerabilities; I’m talking about loss and theft. Did you know that over 12,000 laptops are lost at airports each week? That’s just in America. What data is becoming visible because of these lost laptops? Hence needs strict airport security Perth.

In 2010 alone, there have already been several breaches, merely because a laptop with sensitive information was either a) lost or b) stolen. For example, on June 14 a laptop was stolen from the office of a hospital employee. Although the laptop was password protected, it still contained everything from Social Security numbers and names to birth dates, insurance information and hospital account numbers. While password protection is a form of security, it could be broken through, exposing private information on approximately 21,000 patients.

Hard drives, files, CDs and laptops with personal information have all been targeted, from State Departments to hospitals and health agencies to businesses. Whether sensitive information is exposed often depends on what methods are used to protect that information. One quick method is simply to keep the laptop in an inconspicuous case. It doesn’t have to look like a laptop case; a backpack or briefcase does the job just as well.

If an undercover laptop doesn’t seem exciting enough, there are plenty of other options. One cheap security option is to use a security cable, which is similar to chaining your bike to a bike rack. The problem with security cables is they won’t necessarily deter a thief from stealing other things, such as any external CD-ROMS or network cards.

Next, there’s always a laptop safe. Laptop safes can be used at home, in your office, in your car or pretty much anywhere else. Not only is your laptop locked away until the next time you want to use it, but all your peripherals (CD-ROMS, etc) are also locked away.

Tracking software, on the other hand, seems to get the best kind of results. For instance, Laptop Cop, GadgetTrack and LoJack for Laptops are all examples of software that have helped several people retrieve their laptops. However, no matter what form or forms of laptop security you choose, always make sure that you only keep information on your laptop that you have to have. As well, make sure it’s always encrypted, which makes it that much harder to break.

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