GCN Tech Blog

By GCN Staff

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Dear TSA: Keep the shampoo, leave the laptop

In light of what officials worldwide have said was a foiled terrorist attack this week, we've got a question: "Will we be able to take our laptops on-board airplanes when we go to IT tradeshows in the coming months?"

The United Kingdom banned electronics on its flights for the time being. And Congressman Pete Hoekstra (R-Michigan) reportedly said the threat level "eliminates the days of carry-on baggage."

While it pains us to think we won't be productive during our multi-hour flights, we understand the precautions. But we still feel like we'll need our notebooks with us on the road. What to do? We don't like checking our rolling luggage let alone our laptop bags.

Absolute Software, which makes the Computrace system of laptop protection (think LoJack for notebooks), offered these tips today:

1. Use luggage locks. Although most luggage locks can be dismantled in seconds, that short window of opportunity to steal valuables may discourage a criminal from targeting your bag.

2. Pack laptops for rough handling. Encase laptops in soft foam or bubble wrap in addition to a traditional laptop bag or hard case to protect it from rough treatment from baggage handlers or the baggage carousel.

3. Keep laptops inconspicuous. Do not check a laptop bag as luggage ' instead, put your laptop inside another piece of checked luggage.

4. Use "complex" passwords and encryption solutions. Prevent unauthorized access to your laptop and sensitive data. Simple passwords can be hacked quickly by criminals. Always use a combination of letters and numbers.

5. Back-up valuable data before travel. Data back-up needs to happen as frequently as possible to minimize the risk to organizations in the event of theft or loss. The information or "knowledge" that is stored on the computer is often more valuable than the computer itself.

6. Invest in asset tracking and recovery software. Laptop recovery tools are highly effective, especially those based in the BIOS of computers. They not only recover the hardware, but stop the root cause of internal theft by catching the thieves.

7. Use data protection. Leverage advanced data protection technology to remotely wipe sensitive information in the event that your computer is lost, stolen or nearing the end of its lifecycle.

Points taken.

Posted by Brad Grimes

Posted by Brad Grimes, Joab Jackson on Aug 11, 2006 at 9:39 AM


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