If you are a frequent business traveler, then you’ve probably perfected the process of getting through the security lines at airports with as much ease and as little stress as possible. However ‘perfect’ your process may be, the fact remains that you will have to remove all your devices from your bag so they can be scanned; laptop, smartphone, tablet, etc. Mix this with the general chaos of the security lines and trying to keep schedule and the possibility of losing one of these devices exists for all of us.
Losing a device can cause a total interruption in your ability to perform your job and will cause you to lose precious time, which we all know is money. But more costly than that (and the cost to replace the item) is the value of company information that may exist on the device and is now in someone else’s hands.
In a recent article, Security 101: Mobile Security Tips for the Frequent Traveler, our very own, Ramon Ray outlined five tips that will help you to keep your equipment more secure. Here is a summary of those points:
- Keep your hardware secure. One of the best ways to make sure your data remains secure is to always keep your devices in your sight. If you’re staying at a hotel, go to the trouble of storing all of your devices in a safe.
- Be careful what you store locally. VPN accounts are a secure way to reach important files without saving them on your device. Cloud-based networking can also be a great way to access your files without them being stored on your computer. Just make sure your system doesn’t automatically pass anyone through who is able to get into your computer.
- Use encryption. Encryption and login passwords are a must for any device that stores work-related materials. Be sure you use complex passwords, consisting of a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters.
- Consider the consequences. If any sensitive customer information is compromised—social security numbers, credit card numbers, etc.—your business will be expected to send letters to all affected individuals notifying them of the breach. Some businesses have chosen to pay for a year of identity theft protection for all potentially affected individuals.
- If a device is stolen, don’t cover it up. A business owner or CIO can and will be held responsible if customer information is compromised and the appropriate steps aren’t taken. First, notify authorities and file a police report, especially if the device has been stolen. Second, contact others in your organization and change any passwords that might apply to the device.
There is no way we can ever fully safeguard ourselves from having a device stolen or ensure that we can overcome the chaos of life and never lose a device. By taking a few simple steps now, though, we can ensure that should we ever be in that situation, our information will remain safe and secure and we can avoid a lot of stress and embarrassment!