Business is becoming increasingly mobile in this fast-paced, technology-driven world. Nowadays, there isn’t a process in a company or a job position that doesn’t involve some form of technology, and more often than not, this will be a laptop that allows you to do your job on the go and take your work with you around town and even across the globe if need be. Now, even though working on a laptop offers unparalleled comfort and flexibility to the modern business leader, there are certain risks that come to mind pertaining to data security that you have to be aware of.
Unlike a stationary PC that you can lock behind your office doors, a laptop can get lost or stolen, and there is an increased risk that someone might try to access sensitive business data. With that in mind, today we’ll be looking at the five essential tips that will allow you to protect your work laptop on all fronts.
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Put a password on everything
It should go without saying that you need to put a password on your laptop, but that’s not all there is to it. Password management is much more than simply typing in your dog’s name into the computer to log in, because you not only need to create a truly strong password based on a random assembly of letters and numbers, but you also have to do this for every important application and folder on your computer. Yes, it might sound like a chore, but you should go the extra mile to create multiple layers of password security.
For example, if someone does manage to unlock your laptop, then you have to make sure that they can’t get into certain folders or applications without a password – this will most likely be enough to deter the intruder. To manage your passwords easily, though, and make this task feasible, be sure to use a password management tool the likes of LastPass or Keeper.
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Invest in the best antivirus software
Depending on the operating system your laptop is running on, you might have to invest in third-party antivirus software. For example, while Windows Defender can do a decent enough job at keeping your laptop safe from nefarious online activity, most of the time it won’t be enough, simply because of its notorious reliability issues that Microsoft still hasn’t fixed. In that case, consider switching to a more professional piece of software. That said, keep in mind that the best thing you can to is to hook up your laptop to the hardware firewall in your office as soon as you clock in.
Remember to back up your data regularly
To ensure that your business data is secure and that you can recover it easily at all times, you have to make it a habit to back up your data on a regular basis. Now, depending on your job and the amount of new data that comes into your computer on a daily basis, you might want to back it up anywhere from every day to once a week.
Remember to create two separate restore points, one in the cloud, and one on an external hard drive, so that when something goes awry or if you have to go through numerous professional laptop repairs, you know that you can easily get all of that data back on your computer in no time. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that it won’t come to that, rather, remember to back up your data regularly, and prep for every eventuality.
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Don’t skip any system updates
System updates are important, and even though it can seem like a chore to update your laptop every once in a while, just keep in mind that these updates are here to ensure your safety and the safety of all of the information you store on your hard drive. If you postpone the update, you’re allowing the hackers who have found a back door in the previous build of the software to exploit it and gain access to your computer. However, if you update regularly, you will always stay one step ahead.
Learn to manage your system’s firewall
And finally, be sure to learn how to manage your system’s firewall so that you can control how data flows through your laptop. The default settings in your firewall might prevent you from opening files or downloading apps from unverified sources, and while that is a good thing, it can sometimes needlessly make your job harder. Be sure to whitelist the applications you do trust instead of turning your firewall off completely in order to avoid putting your entire system in harm’s way.
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Working on a laptop allows you to be flexible and productive no matter if you’re at the office, on your way to an important meeting, or if you’re working as a digital nomad. However, all of these perks do bring certain risks to the table, so be sure to implement these solutions as soon as possible to ensure your peace of mind and keep all sensitive business data safe.
Bily Bum is an electrical engineer, tech, and gaming fan with 15 years of experience in the technology world. He is also a contributor on-site Technivorz.