Laptops are stolen every minute and with most of us still working from home it can cause serious problems for a business if one were to get stolen or go missing.
In this article, we will look at what you can do as a business owner to help your staff from losing or getting their laptops stolen and then compromising your business data.
Passwords are good for protecting your information from the average person, however, if someone has intentionally stolen your laptop then there is a good chance they will be able to crack your login password. If they can do this they then have access to everything that you may access on your laptop. This could be banking records, confidential emails, personal emails, social media accounts and much more.
Instead of your standard encryption, you will be far more protected if you choose an IT support company to provide device encryption for you where your data can be scrambled if you were to ever lose or have a laptop stolen. If you were to ever find your device or have it returned to you then your IT support company can then unscramble your data so you can access it again.
2) Lock your devices when not in use with security cables
My advice would be to never leave your devices unattended. However, this may not stop someone from stealing from you so locking your laptop to the table you are working on when in public offers another level of security.
Of course, someone can cut through the cable or damage the table it is on but this will take time and hopefully, others will be able to call the police as this is happening.
3) Install tracking software
Most of us will know someone at our work who has lost a laptop. It is estimated that 86% of people working in the IT field will know someone who has lost a laptop. Losing a laptop in itself can be a big financial hit to smaller companies but it can also lead to a data breach.
You can set up tracking on a Macbook through the “Find my” option on iCloud. You can also set this up to track phones too. On PC’s you will need to install third-party software which will allow you to track your laptop in the event of it being lost.
You can also use Apple’s Air Tag device to find your lost computer if you set it up beforehand.
4) Back up your data
Sometimes the loss of the device isn’t that important to a business as they may have insurance or it just isn’t that much of a financial hit to them. The data on the device however could set the business back weeks or even months.
Think of someone using a laptop for programming a new piece of software. If the person were to write code for weeks or even months without backing it up elsewhere and were to then lose their laptop it could cost a company a lot of money, it could cause deadlines to be missed and depending on contracts it could also cause them legal issues.
A good developer will backup their code anyway but the above example could be replaced with many other real-life examples where backing up your data isn’t as common.
Hiring a managed IT service company to provide you with constant backups is a simple and effective way of getting around this problem.
5) Have a process and stick by it
Having a process to make sure that you keep your device on you and prevent your laptop from falling into the wrong hands is going to protect your device and your data.
For example, you should have a process that you run through every time you leave an external work location. This will help make sure you leave nothing behind and that you have your laptop on you when you leave.
You may think that losing a laptop is not something you could do but it is easily done. Especially if you are in a rush or if you are carrying more items than you need to be. Many of us use our laptops when travelling so when transport is delayed or we nearly miss a stop it’s easy enough to forget about your device.
6) Set up your documents to sync
This falls under backing up your data. If you don’t have an IT support team that can do this for you then you will want to sync your documents yourself.
Syncing your data doesn’t cost too much and it can easily be done too. All you will need to do is download software that can Sync your data and then let it do its job. There are many options out there that can do this, one of the easiest and most affordable is Dropbox.
7) Create a please return note
There are good people out there and if you create a note on your laptop with your name and address there may be a chance that someone returns it to you in the event of a loss. You can also improve the chance of someone returning it to you by offering a reward too, this is especially effective if you combine this method of encrypting all your data. If the laptop is no good to anyone and you are offering a reward someone will return it to you.
Losing a laptop or having one stolen can have devastating effects on your business. It could also affect your clients if your data is breached. The tips above can help prevent your laptop from getting lost or stolen and they can also help you recover them as a result of a loss.
If you do need extra protection when it comes to your staff using laptops when working from home we would highly recommend hiring an IT support company to provide you with backup and encryption services. At Firewall Technical we can provide these types of services to all businesses in Ottawa and if you would like a quote please get in touch.