Mobile Computing Solutions – the world at your fingertips

Mobile  Computing in the shape of laptops, smartphones and MacBooks are often at the heart of our business and private lives now. These amazingly hi-tech smart machines therefore often contain a wealth of sensitive personal and commercial information  – customer records, financial data, personal and family ID information, photos and so on. So why are many of us careless when it comes to protecting this vital asset?


Stolen laptop and smartphone – very mobile computing!
Very recently, Chris, a friend of ours, who is a senior manager with one of the UK’s largest IT related companies, left a lengthy business meeting in London and headed with half a dozen colleagues to an upmarket hotel bar to get a refreshing drink and unwind. Each of them had a laptop with them and overnight bags. They only stayed for one drink and no-one left the table while they were there. It was a circular table and at least three of the group were looking towards where Chris’s bags lay, next to his chair. Half an hour later, when it came time to leave, Chris was minus one laptop and everything else contained in its bag. No-one had noticed a thing. Laptop gone, car keys gone, house keys too. Potentially a personal and business nightmare. Several hours later after reporting the theft and having confirmation from the police that he was unlikely ever to see the laptop again, his laptop bag and all its other contents turned up at his place of work…proof that all the thieves wanted was the technology.

Security Encryption Software – mobile computing solutions

Fortunately, unlike a lot of IT thefts reported in the media recently, Chris had his hard drive encrypted, so there was little or no chance of the thieves being able to open his computer files or use the hard drive at all. If your laptop were stolen, would you be as lucky?

Security advice for your mobile devices:

You can make your laptop or iPad far less attractive to thieves – here are my top tips:

  • Don’t advertise – leave the beautiful MacBook case at home: Never carry your laptop, Ipad or netbook in a logo decorated laptop case or bag. If you do, it is simply asking to be stolen. Carry it in a less obvious sturdy bag, perhaps with your overnight clothing. Thieves do not generally get attracted to larger overnight bags
  • Kensington Security Lock: If you are in a public place, whether the laptop is in or out of its bag, always physically lock it down. If it’s in use, lock it to the desk or table using a Kensington style lock (All laptops are designed to accommodate these), or if it’s in a bag, consider buying a simple cable loop padlock and secure the bag to the leg of the table you are sitting at. Opportunist thieves will move on to the next target rather than take a chance of being caught stealing yours. * NB: Apple’s new MacBook Pro requires other approaches to physical security as it came without a Kensington lock port and these are available from Maclocks
  • Password and data protection: Use a screen privacy protector for when you are working in public places like trains, planes and hotels lobbies. The screen will help prevent a casual thief from glancing at your machine and being able to note any sensitive password or personal data that may appear on screen. A laptop privacy protector only allows the person sitting directly behind the screen to read what is on it
  • Hide your laptop: Never leave a laptop on view in a car. If you do it is highly likely to disappear. Remember, the data on the pc may be more valuable than the car itself, so the best policy is to take it with you, rather than locking it in the boot.
  • Asset tags: You can buy and attach what are known as “asset tags” to the body of your machine. These identify the property as yours and are very difficult to remove without damaging the casing. Hence the laptop is much harder for the thief to sell on and so less attractive to steal in the first place
  • Password Challenge: Make sure you have a memorable, yet suitably complex personal password to open the machine. The more unique, the better
  • Encryption: Encrypt the hard drive too
  • Firewall: Always make sure your firewall is fully functional if you are working using a public Wi-Fi network. If you don’t, someone sitting nearby could be looking at all your details
  • Back-up your data regularly. This should be at least once a week and preferably 24/7 in real time whenever your machine is switched on. Products like Carbonite are value for money solutions which give you unlimited back-up every time you switch on. Your data is held, encrypted, on their servers and can be retrieved quite easily by you if your machine is stolen.

If you want my help with any of these mobile computing solutions – call me on 01225 745732 that’s what I am here for. Or you can access me when I am mobile computing on 07711 513722. IT is my business to help you.

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