Laptop theft and data loss are escalating concerns for companies of all sizes — from Fortune 500-level to small- to medium-sized businesses — and according to the FBI, 97 percent of stolen laptops are never recovered. As employees become increasingly more mobile and rely on multiple mobile devices from laptops, smartphones and iPads to conduct business, crimes associated with these devices are also on the rise. Malicious insiders as well as outside culprits are increasingly becoming more innovative and inventive in finding ways to steal valuable information and proprietary data from company and employee mobile devices and laptops that don’t have appropriate endpoint security.
Fortunately, there are ways that companies can protect themselves from theft. Ron Penna, chief strategy officer at Awareness Technologies, who has a behind-the-scenes perspective on what really causes most laptop thefts, outlines the top tips for preventing mobile device theft.
Click through for eight tips to help prevent the theft of your mobile devices, as identified by Ron Penna, chief strategy officer at Awareness Technologies.
Be aware of the three most common areas where mobile devices and laptops are stolen: airports, mass transit and automobiles – and always keep your items concealed when in a public place.
In order to prevent anyone from mistaking your laptop for their own – a very common occurrence and major cause of theft – customize your computer and carrying case so that it is very distinctive.
Be sure to encrypt your data to limit access should your computer be lost or stolen.
Choose strong passwords that have a mix of letters, numbers, symbols and case sensitivity. Weak passwords can be cracked using information and/or products available on the Internet. And never leave access numbers or passwords in your carrying case.
Use a screen guard to protect against strangers peeking at your screen when in use.
With the rise of cloud services, consider storing important information that you will need in the cloud so that you still have access to it if your laptop is lost or stolen.
Educate employees not to write passwords down on sticky notes attached to the computer. This practice is still very prevalent, especially if security requirements require frequently changing passwords.
Install laptop protection software that allows you to remotely retrieve and delete files on your device BEFORE it is stolen. This will give you peace of mind and protect you in the event that your laptop is stolen.