So, you’re in the car on the way home from Starbucks, basking in the glow of consuming your triple-shot, low-foam, extra-hot pumpkin-spice latte when you suddenly realize your laptop has gone missing. You drive back like the caffeinated lunatic you are, only to discover no one has turned it in. What do you do? That depends on what precautions you have (or haven’t!) taken.

First, if you’ve properly encrypted your data, password-protected the access to your device and shut down and logged off all key applications, you’ve got a bit more time to respond. But the first thing to do, whether or not you’ve taken those precautionary measures, is to notify your IT department (us) that you’ve lost your device. That will allow us to change passwords and lock access to applications and data a thief may gain access to via your unprotected laptop. We can also remotely wipe your device  (if you have that service) to make sure no one will be able to gain access to the data stored on your computer. (Which is also why it’s CRITICAL to back up your data on a daily basis!)

Next, change ALL the passwords to every website you log in to, starting with any sites that contain financial data (your bank account) or company data. If your laptop contained medical records, financial information or other sensitive data (like social security numbers, birthdays, etc.), then you need to contact a qualified attorney to understand what you may be required to do by law to notify individuals who may be affected.

Quite simply, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure; so make sure you’re engaging us to encrypt and back up your data, as well as put remote monitoring software on all mobile devices. Put a pin-code lock, fingerprint or password requirement to access a device after 10 minutes of inactivity and get into the habit of logging out of websites when you’re done using them.

Do you log out of things or do you just close the lid? Many people just close the lid so things will be where they left off. If your device is secured, you will have to enter credentials to get back in. If not, it will just open back up to the place you left off giving whoever holds the device access to anything you left open. That is very scary. I do not have data on my laptop. I use it to access the data store on my network and log off when done. That way, If I lose the device, my data is not at risk.

My wife calls me a creature of habit. I like to call them routines. One routine is to not put things down on a table. My phone is always in its holster when I am not using it. Keep things together. Put them back in your bag as soon as you are done using them. Another good routine is to check the area in which you were working for anything of yours before leaving. That way, you can make sure you have all your devices and avoid panic and maybe a speeding ticket. As we said, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

BTT can set up a way for you to protect and improve your network; call our office if you would like us to set that up: 888.477.9895.

Want to know more about Security? Click here to get our report on 7 Urgent Security Protections Every Business Should Have in Place Now.

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