Desktop computers are not stolen as often as laptops. So all you have to do to safeguard a desktop from theft is to lock your doors and windows. You would do that anyway, right? Laptops are a different matter altogether. Let’s face it laptops are easy to carry, which is why they are easier to steal. There are no wires to disconnect and often, no peripherals to deal with. There are many ways to safeguard your laptop, from locking it to your desk to keeping it with you in a public place. I never leave my netbook unattended, when I am using it away from my home. If I need to leave it, and I am not with someone who can watch over it, I close it up and take it with me. Leaving it behind would be like leaving my purse; I’d be begging to have it stolen. Thieves can cut locks easily cut and your netbook or laptop is gone. Keeping it with you at all times is the best way to prevent someone from stealing it.
Physical security aside there is data security to think about; many people write down their passwords and leave it beside the computer, especially in offices. This is tantamount to leaving your car keys in the vestibule of a store while you go shopping. You wouldn’t do that, so why would you leave your password out where anyone can see it?
There are many devices on the market that to keep your data safe. They range from fingerprint analysis to facial recognition, with price tags to match. The most common, and cheapest, way to protect your data is with a good strong password. I created a password generator in excel that presents me with a ten-character password using random letters, numbers and symbols. This is the strongest type of password. It also gives me less strong passwords of just random letters and numbers or even just letters, which is the weakest form or password. Never use a pet’s name or anything attributable to you, like your street address or birth date. Those are too easy for miscreants to figure out. I like my password generator because it gives me a random collection of characters. I do keep a list of the passwords that I use online but I keep it in a place that is password protected itself. It’s like keeping it in a wall safe with a combination lock. Someone may be able to break into it, but he or she will have to work for it.
Another thing you can do is prevent anyone from seeing what you enter for your password when working in a public area. Screen filters distort the screen image unless you are directly in front of it and are simple methods of protecting your data. It’s also good if you are viewing sensitive data in a public place. You just have to be aware of who might be behind you.
Computer and data security are just matters of common sense. If you don’t want to have your laptop stolen, lock it up or keep it with you. Lock your home or office when you leave your desktop. Use strong passwords that are longer than eight characters to protect your data. Simple, common sense, solutions will save you from theft every time.