If you have a job that requires computer access outside of the office, chances are you have a laptop. Many companies issue laptops to employees and while this is a great convenience, this can also be a possible problem. Do you have your laptops insured? Are the covered correctly? In addition to insurance coverage, there are a few things you should keep in mind when you issue laptops to employees.
Communicate Employee Responsibility
If your company issues a laptop to an employee, make sure they understand they have a responsibility to take care of it. Employees’ work laptops may have personal information such as stored website addresses, login information, address, name etc saved on them. Possible without them realizing it. Making employees aware that the theft of a work laptop could personally affect them can be an incentive for them to protect the computer.
It may be beneficial for you to provide a security cable lock when you issue laptops to employees. A cable lock works similarly to a bike lock – one end of the cable has a lock that goes into the laptop’s security slot and the other end is attached to a heavy stationary object, such as a desk. This type of lock works as a visual deterrent as well, making your company’s property and information safe.
Give your employees frequent laptop safety reminders and updates on new scams and theft tactics. Laptop safety i snot a one-time thing – making security a habit will keep your company’s property and information safe.
Laptops That Stay In The Office Are At Risk, Too
Just because a laptop does not leave the office, does not mean that it is not at risk. If the laptop is not locked to a docking station or desk is still vulnerable. If an employee is planning to quit or feels disgruntled, they may see stealing a laptop as an easy score. One way to protect your company laptop is to apply a tamper proof metal label with your company name and contact information to each laptop. Another way to deter theft can be to engrave the company name on laptops. This will discourage employees from stealing them, because the permanent engraving decreases resale value.
Use Encryption Software
In many cases the loss of the information and data on the laptop is more devastating than the loss of the laptop itself. Encryption software uses mathematical algorithms and an encryption key to encode data so that only someone who has the encryption key can read it. There are three different encryption methods you can use, based on the sensitivity of your data.
- Full disk encrypts an entire disk, including all its data. This method is used to encrypt laptops, desktops and mobile devices.
- Individual file encrypts a single file or creates an encrypted repository for file storage.
- Data transit encrypts during a transfer, but does not guarantee encryption once the data reaches its destination.
To protect the interests of your company and employees, all devices should be encrypted and require passwords for access.
Install Tracking Software
Tracking software is often called “anti-theft” software. It tracks your laptop to its current location using IP address locations, GPS or Wi-Fi positioning. A stolen laptop can be easier to recover if you’ve installed tracking software before the theft. Some software can take a photo of the thief if the thief turns on the computer, showing his or her identity. If the thief sells the laptop to someone, capturing the new user’s identity is helpful for finding the thief. Tracking software can also take screenshots of what the thief is doing on your computer. This can be is helpful if the thief signs into his or her own personal accounts. Some software can lock the thief out to prevent him or her from logging on to your computer at all, and some software can remotely delete sensitive data from the hard drive if you tell it to.
Keep in mind that tracking software alone does not prevent theft – your employees’ actions and habits play a major role, too. Contact our office today to learn more about defending your company’s laptops against theft.