The most common computer crime is not virus attacks or hackers breaking into your network. It is laptop theft! Electronic devices like laptops, PDA and etc., spend more time out than in the office. With a mobile workforce, and business spread not across the country but across continents, laptop safety, and data security should be a number one priority for business owners.
The reason why business owners need to have a much higher level of security installed on their laptops is that they are usually working with very sensitive information that can ruin them if they get out in the public. Also, some businesses are working with clients closely and they are taking some personal information from them and guaranteeing that the information will not be publicized or shared with a third-party member. Well if someone would have stolen few laptops, all of that sensitive information would be in danger because the thief can have free access to all of the information that is located in these laptops.
According to Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, A Chronology of Data Breaches, April 9th, 2007, only 35% of the Fortune 100,000 IT professionals say they are equipped to deal with lost corporate or personal data. The same source says that since early 2005 more than 150 million personal records have been exposed. The 2006 Annual Study, The Cost of Data Breach by Ponemon Institute LLC, total cost averaged $182 per lost customer record – an increase of 30 percent over 2005 results. At $182 per record lost for 93 million records in 2006, the cost would be $16.9 billion! The same source says that on average, the cost of preventative measures is 4 times less than the cost of a breach.
One-third of companies surveyed said a major security breach could put them out of business, this according to McAfee and Data Monitor’s Data Loss Survey, 2007. Most surveys and studies also show that most businesses do not have a plan in place in case of a data breach, data theft or other similar events.
Here are some simple steps that everyone should follow:
- Have a written business policy about the safety of laptop, and periodically remind your employees about the consequences of losing their laptop. In case their laptop is stolen they not only lose the ability to do their work, but also data related to work, personal passwords and anything else that they might keep in their laptop bags.
- Also have best practices regarding data protection and encryption. Employees should periodically back up their data.
- Each business laptop should have an ID tag, this information should be saved, and regularly checked (quarterly or twice a year depending on the size of the business and personnel available). Law enforcement officials say that the chances of recovery improve significantly if the serial number of a stolen laptop is available.
- Issue laptop locks for all laptop and ask employees to use them.
- Lock up laptops every night and don’t leave the key in the drawer or in an easy to find spot on your desk.
- Ask employees not to leave their computers in plain sight in a rental car – lock them up in the trunk or better yet take the laptop with you. Similarly, don’t leave your laptop in a hotel room, lock it up in a safe inside the room or use a cable lock or better yet take the laptop with you.
- The most important thing that you can do in addition to all or as many of the above is to sign up with a data recovery or laptop tracking service. The benefits would far outweigh the costs.
With LocateMyLaptop as the recovery service you can:
- Track all your business laptops, you can use one account for multiple laptops,
- In case a laptop is stolen you can do a remote data delete and/or data shred as per the United States Department of Defense data shredding standard. This makes sure that the data wipe deletes data beyond retrieval by most ordinary means.
- You can show return for reward screen to provide an incentive for a return of your laptop,
- LocateMyLaptop offers users the option to create and manage a Safe IP list of locations from where the laptop connection to the internet is considered safe. The user can set to receive a location alert when the computer is connected from a location that is not present in the Safe IP list pre-approved by the owner. This will provide owners enhanced protection and peace of mind to take the necessary action for protecting valuable and critical business data.
- You can also do a computer inventory of all the laptops registered with LocateMyLaptop.
The most important benefit is that the basic service for LocateMyLaptop is free. You can also sign up for premium plans with minimal cost (as low as $0.82 per month per laptop). Protect data, track laptops and save the disruption in business that lost laptops and data can cost.
To see a complete list of features, click here or visit www.LocateMyLaptop.com. These features will help you protect data and help you comply with best practices in case of a data breach.
For a complete list of the features offered by LocateMyLaptop please click here.