28 Jul 8 Tips to Maintain Physical Data Security
The best antivirus, anti-malware, firewall-protecting software is worthless if you don’t take reasonable security precautions regarding your devices.
Strong security isn’t just about the cyber domain of strong passwords, blocking malware, and managing permissions. You also safeguard sensitive information with physical security and cautious behavior. Here are some non-technical security tips:
- Keep an eye on your devices and never leave them with strangers. In addition, never walk away from a device you’ve logged in to. Companies that routinely handle protected health information or other personally identifiable information have policies that require employees to log off before leaving the device – even while working from home.
- Look for privacy in places like airports and coffee shops. Sit where no one can see over your shoulder. That may be difficult in especially busy places or at peak travel times, but do you really need to check your email or work on that presentation now?
- Dim the screen on your device or get a privacy filter. If you are in a public place and can’t find privacy, this will make it more difficult for strangers to see what’s on your device.
- Don’t discuss sensitive information in public areas. We’ve all heard the sales exec in the airport gate area loudly trying to close that deal. You’ve heard that, haven’t you? Recordings in public places are ubiquitous these days, so don’t say anything in a public area you wouldn’t want to see or hear on the internet.
- Get a case to protect your devices. How many times did you crack your cellphone’s screen before you bought your first protective case? A sturdy case or a cushioned bag for your laptop or tablet can soften any blows if your device is dropped or protect it if something is spilled on it.
- Bring a portable charger. Much like public Wi-Fi has been universally panned over security concerns, so have public charging stations like those at airports. Plugging in can download malware to your device, potentially opening you up for a hack of sensitive information. A portable charger could be the answer, but remember to make sure it has a full charge before hitting the road.
- Consider alternatives to the public USB recharger. If you need to charge your phone, consider plugging the USB port into your laptop. It’s not optimal to top your phone to 100% power, but it should be enough to handle your immediate computing needs. You also can buy a data blocker for under $10, which, as the name implies, blocks the transfer of data from a charging station to a device.
- Carry your own AC adapter. If you use your laptop in a dock, for example, you may not remember to bring the AC adapter with you when you travel. If you issue laptops and docks to your employees, spend a little extra for a second adapter they can keep in the laptop bag. And for those with only one AC adapter, keep it in your laptop bag when not in use. Same goes for any portable chargers or other devices you use at home/office and also on the road.