As business use of laptops becomes more prevalent protecting your business data becomes paramount. Due to the mobile benefit of working remotely, businesses are buying more laptops to assist workers to operate from wherever they need to be. While laptops offer large benefits in terms of productivity and flexibility we shouldn’t discount the risks associated with their use within a business environment.
Unlike business workstations that are keep locked behind doors within an office environment, a laptop travels with its user. During this process, the laptop can get lost or stolen and its data become compromised. Being in the hands of hacker the data is no longer safe and is now accessible by the hacker, exposing sensitive business data that should have been protected. We’ve put together 5 tips to protect your business data on your work laptop that are essential to follow. Enabling you to maximise the security of your business’s data on laptops and avoiding the need to reach out to laptop computer repair professionals in your city for data recovery, service, or IT support.
Secure everything with a complex password
Start with a secure password for your laptop and then take it a step further. Having access to your computer secured is one thing, you should also have specific passwords for certain folders or applications on the laptop containing sensitive information. A complex password is often enough to stop a would-be hacker from gaining access to your laptop and company data.
Try not to use common phrases, your name, dates of birth. Keep your passwords random and as complex as conveniently possible, so that they are too difficult for someone to guess. A great way to keep track of your business passwords is to store them in a password vault application like 1Password or Lastpass.
Install the best antivirus software and scan your data for threats
Some people rely purely on the built-in protection of the Windows Defender antivirus app that came pre-installed on their Microsoft Windows laptop. This program offers good essential protection, but it’s always recommended to get a more comprehensive Internet Security suite, such as AVG or Norton for better security.
I addition, be sure your business laptops remain connected to your VPN, where you will have a strong router firewall for additional safety. All Internet security suites, like AVG and Norton, also provide firewall protection for each of your business laptops, so make sure they are configured correctly and perform regular scans.
Deploy and maintain regular data backup of your OS
It’s vital to be in control of your data and maintain a regular data backup of your entire operating system, this is referred to as a system image backup. Ensuring that your business data is backed up regularly means you can recover faster. Sustaining mechanical hardware damage to your laptop will generally mean you need to go to a data recovery specialist unless the data on it can be recovered quickly with a backup. You need to make a decision as to how often you perform your data and system image backups. This will generally depend on the volume of use and frequency of data being created locally on the laptop. It is therefore recommended that data is backed up hourly and system images are performed after critical software updates or application changes.
Cloud backups are great if you have the bandwidth and should be used as a secondary backup. Local backups to an external hard drive are always your primary form of backup and if something happens to your data you will be in a position for fast restoration.
Don’t delay or skip recommended system updates
Major operating system vendors, Microsoft and Apple, release security and core feature updates on a regular. It is essential to actively install these updates, keeping your computer up to date and minimizing vulnerabilities that make your business laptops more susceptible to hackers. When prompted ensure that you always download and install these updates automatically, and periodically restart your business laptops so that the updates are applied in a timely manner.
Get to know your system firewall & security
Have a firewall is the best method for external threat protection. Making sure you manage your operating system’s firewall means you have control over what data flows in and out of your business laptops. If you find that the default firewall configuration prevents you from downloading and installing specific files or running certain applications you can adjust the settings within the software. For trusted applications, you can create exceptions in your Windows firewall to allow them to work efficiently and still give you the protection you desire.
Using a business laptop enables you and your co-workers to work more productively when abroad. However, with freedom comes great responsibility and the physical movement of the device creates some risks for the data stored on the laptop. With that it is key to implement the above data protection recommendations, allowing you and your organisation to have peace of mind and keep your business data safe.