Tuesday, July 14, 2009


A study released last year by the Ponemon Institute revealed that business travelers lost a truly shocking number of laptops at airports every week: about 12,000, by their count. (http://cmit.sparklist.com/t/125909/891226/1546/0/)

Even with fewer business travelers flying this year, you can bet that laptop losses are still far too many -- especially considering that 65 percent of survey respondents who said they were carrying confidential information didn't take any measures to protect it. That's a whole lot of sensitive information just floating around out there because somebody got careless in the airport security line.

So the next time you take your computer with you on a business trip, remember two basic principles: prevention and mitigation.

First, prevent laptop loss by giving yourself plenty of time at the airport, making sure you pack lightly so that you're not overwhelmed by your luggage, and keeping an eye on your computer as you go through security and boarding. (The two most common places people lose computers are in security checkpoints and at gates.)

To mitigate laptop loss, encrypt and back up all your important files. That way, if you do lose your computer you'll minimize the risk that confidential company information will end up in the wrong hands, and you'll be able to quickly rebuild your files and get back to work.

If you take all these precautions and still, at the end of a business trip, discover that your laptop has wandered off for parts unknown, it helps to have a theft-recovery system like Absolute Software’s Computrace LoJack for Laptops installed. If your laptop goes missing, Absolute personnel can start working with local law enforcement to find it. Your computer automatically calls in to the Monitoring Center once a day, but you can increase that to once every 15 minutes if your computer is stolen. Once your computer checks in with the Monitoring Center, they can initiate a data delete to remove sensitive information – hopefully before the thief is able to access it.

The Computrace LoJack for Laptops comes embedded in Dell Latitude™ notebooks and Dell Precision™ Mobile Workstations. It can also be purchased as a standalone product.