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.