It’s easy to be lax about safeguarding information on your computer, especially if you figure there aren’t many visitors in your work area and you don’t view lots of proprietary data on your PC. But complacency can prove costly.
Adopt these steps to keep your computer data secure:
Write passwords where visitors won’t see them. The most impenetrable passwords contain numbers and letters, but you may have trouble remembering these combinations. If you write down your password, don’t tape it to your monitor or to the side of your desk where others can see it. Keep it in your wallet or hide it in your office.
Get in the “sign off” habit. When you get coffee, go to the restroom or meet a visitor, sign off before leaving your computer. Even if you’re only gone from your desk for a minute or two, a thief can stroll into your office and access proprietary data.
Install a theft guard. As more employees hit the road, an increasing number of services can help them hunt down laptop thieves. Example: CompuTrace (www.computrace.com) uses your modem to track your computer’s location if it’s stolen. When an unauthorized user plugs your computer into a phone line, CompuTrace helps you pinpoint where to look.
Position your PC so that the screen’s not visible to snooping visitors. If your office has mirrors, determine whether someone in an adjoining cubicle can see your screen.