Laptop & tablet security tips
A minor distraction is all it takes for a laptop to vanish. If it goes
missing, all the valuable information stored on it may fall into the hands of an
identity thief. Keep these tips in mind when you’re out and about with your
- Treat your laptop like cash.
- Lock your laptop with a security cable.
- Be on guard in airports and hotels.
- Consider an alarm for your laptop.
- Consider carrying your laptop in something less obvious than a laptop
- Don't leave your laptop unattended — even for just a moment.
- Don't put your laptop on the floor.
- Don't leave your laptop in the car.
- Don't keep passwords with your laptop or in its case.
Having your tablet stolen is another security threat. Device theft, including
tablets and smartphones, happens so frequently that in most cases, law
enforcement personnel are unable to help recover a stolen device, although there
are a few steps you can take to improve the odds that it will be found.
Here’s a brief security checklist to keep on hand, in case your tablet is
- Write down or save your device’s serial number (found in the Settings menu)
in a place other than your tablet to help prove ownership of a stolen tablet.
- Make sure the GPS function on your device is activated when you start using
it and keep it activated at all times.
- Keep your tablet locked with a password, so a thief can’t gain immediate
access to your data.
- Immediately contact the police if your tablet is stolen. The longer you wait,
the harder it will be for law enforcement personnel to track it down.
- Have remote wiping capabilities set up ahead of time, so you can delete all
your personal data from your tablet in the event that you’re unable to recover
While every tablet has some security features built into the device, you can
strengthen your tablet’s security by using third-party software for additional
protection. There are several types of security software for tablets, including
apps and programs. These include:
- Location software like Find my iPhone for the iPad or Lookout Mobile Security
for Android devices
- Remote locking and wiping software
- Anti-virus and anti-malware scanning programs
- Backup, recovery, and data loss prevention solutions
Using mobile devices in public:
- With people increasingly using tablets in public places, users are at risk of sharing more than they might want to with the people around them. Larger screens may make it easier to browse the web, read ebooks and use apps on the go, but it also makes it easier for wandering eyes to catch sight of whatever it is you’re doing with your tablet or smartphone.
- It might be that someone is innocently interested in a good-looking app, or has caught sight of a catchy news headline. Yet if others can clearly see what you're doing with your device, it can put your privacy at risk.
- To prevent onlookers from staring at your display, you might move into a corner, cover information with your hand, or move the display closer to you. However, while such actions require personal compromise, one accessory can help you lower the risk without moving at all: a screen filter.
- Screen filters are designed to prevent anyone apart from the user (sitting directly in front of a device) from getting a clear view of what’s on a screen. Screen filters could well be a must-have for security-conscious business users, and those who regularly use mobile banking, for example, while on the move.