Monday, April 25, 2011

LOCK YOUR COMPUTER! Really? Why?

A few weeks ago I posted a blog, “You Lock Your House, Lock your Smartphone Too.”  And a lot of you read it. Great! Sooo, the next question is, “Why aren't you locking your computer too?”

If your computer is stolen or you inadvertently leave your laptop somewhere, if it isn't locked (password protected), then all the information on it is available to be viewed by whoever has it, and since you don’t know who that is, that’s definitely not a good thing.

WHY NOT LOCK YOUR COMPUTER?
Given what’s been in the news lately, I can’t think of a single good reason not to password protect the valuable information that resides in your computer, can you?


We regularly hear about an employee of some large corporation or  bank who's lost his or her laptop at the airport, and it contained really personal information about the company’s clients; often that information contains their clients' Social Security numbers, account information, names, addresses, et cetera ad nauseum. Scary thought. The least that employee could have done was to password protect their computer. Duh.

WHAT DOES LOCKING A COMPUTER ENTAIL?
Locking a computer doesn’t mean chaining it down to the table, though that’s a good way to prevent a laptop from being stolen at a trade show if you happen to turn your back on it.

In every computer, whether it's a PC or Mac, a desk unit or laptop, and in every operating system, is the ability to password protect access to its contents, the files. You can configure the computer to request a login password before it restarts or reopens because of inactivity. Some PC laptops even use your own fingerprint as a form of “password” protection. All of this is a good thing.

It’s not complicated to do; anyone is capable of setting it up.




Somewhere in your computer is a “help” window, a place where you can access instructions about how to do stuff. Type in “password” and several options should show up. Browse around until you find the right one. The place to set up passwords is often in the “preferences” section, and within there it could be a sub-section called “security.”

A very important thing to do is to make a note of the password and store it somewhere other than in the computer so if you forget your password you can easily retrieve it. Just be careful about the password you select. Why? Read my blog: “Are You Inviting Identity Theft? Probably...

Now you know why and the basics of how, so you shouldn’t have any excuses, good or otherwise, not do this.


UPDATE: July 22, 2012
If you're concerned that your tracking capability won't work if your computer is password protected, here's an easy solution; set your computer up so guests can use it without seeing your files and screens. Then, when you finish each work session, log out of your "side" of the computer and open up the guest side. Now your computer is active and your tracking capability will function. Easy!


Information contained herein is for guideline purposes only, and is not a guarantee of results.

Images courtesy of corporateradical.com, itsecurity.vermont.gov


Copyright © The B. Hammil Company, 2011





3 comments:

  1. Congratulations Beryn! This is awesome and so needed.
    All the best,

    Therese Brown
    Ceramic Tile Design
    www.ceramictiledesign.net

    ReplyDelete
  2. We want to lock and ensure our things, we're just too lazy to do it. This serves as a great reminder.

    locksmith in Wichita

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for your comment Tifany. Nowadays sadly, it's important that we lock our valuables up, and data should be considered just as valuable as the crown jewels.

    ReplyDelete

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