Protecting Your Laptop

With the added portability of a laptop comes the increased risk of theft, and with that, the potential loss of irreplaceable data and personally identifiable information and files. Never leave your laptop unattended: Lost or stolen laptops and mobile devices are the most frequent cause of a data breach, accounting for 49 percent of data breaches involving personal information.

When your laptop is not in your immediate possession, ensure that it is securely locked up. Always use password protected access to your computer and back up your data regularly, either with an external hard drive or through a cloud storage service. You may consider installing an asset tracking and recovery tool to track and recover computers that are lost or stolen.

 

Wireless Internet Connections

With ubiquitous and accessible wireless Internet, continue to express caution about the networks you choose to join. In some cases, unless proper safeguards are taken, users may find their wireless access account breached by hackers using your Internet connection to conduct illegal activities, which may include the theft of your sensitive personal and financial information.

According to www.staysafe.org, there are some simple precautions you can take to increase your level of wireless Internet security. If you're not sure how to implement them, ask someone, such as the person who installed your wireless network, to help you.

  • Place the wireless router in a central location in your house. Avoid placing it near exterior walls and windows to help decrease the signal strength outside of the intended coverage area.
  • Install anti-virus software and anti-spyware on your computers and keep it up-to-date. Stay current with the security programs and alerts by visiting trusted computer security companies and websites. If your current operating system does not have one, add a firewall to each computer in your home. Use automatic updates to ensure that your operating system and related security tools are up-to-date.
  • Require authentication for any computer that logs on to your wireless network and change the default authentication password once every three months. Set up your wireless router to accept information from only the computers in your home by using Media Access Control (MAC) addresses.
  • Avoid storing sensitive materials on your computer, including credit card numbers, social security numbers, or other personal information.
  • Encrypt all information transmitted over your wireless network. If you cannot enable encryption, connect to the Internet with a network cable when sending financial or other critical information over the Internet.