For business professionals, it is difficult to travel without taking our work with us. We want to keep up with the office as much as possible, especially if we have clients to tend to. We want to know what’s happening and when it’s happening, even if we are on a holiday vacation. Traveling during the holidays is common in anyone’s agenda, but it doesn’t put a hold on all of the work that needs to be done to keep our businesses going. But while traveling, it can be quite difficult to bring entire desktops and computer towers with us, so we resort to other work devices—laptops, tablets, and smartphones—and unfortunately, these are easily misplaced or damaged. Follow these seven simple tips this holiday season to ensure your work devices’ safeties while traveling.
1. Make Sure your Hard Drives are Encrypted
- Encryption is a way to protect your data from people with ill intentions. For instance, when entering credit card information on shipping websites, your computer encrypts the information to keep others from stealing your personal data while it’s being entered. You can personally encrypt hard drives on your computer in the same way, making it unavailable for anyone to access without a password or certain permissions.
- To enable BitLocker, a popular program used to encrypt hard drives, go to Control Panel > System and Security > BitLocker Drive Encryption, or do a search for “BitLocker” in Windows 8. In the BitLocker menu, click Turn on BitLocker next to the drive(s) you wish to encrypt. It’s as easy as that.
- Encrypting your hard drives during your holiday travels will ensure that your important information is kept safe from hackers and other cyber criminals.
2. Be Sure Auto Wipe is Enabled, In Case Your Device is Lost
- Auto wipe, or Remote wipe, is a security feature that allows a network administrator or device owner to send a command to a computing device and delete data. This can be especially useful if you misplace one of you devices while traveling, or if a device gets stolen. Enable this on your devices to ensure that information can be deleted, and kept safe from the wrong hands.
3. Password-Protect Your Important Documents and Lock Your Devices
- Be sure that no one has access to important documents stored on your devices with password protection. Refer to our blog for a complete step-by-step tutorial on how to password-protect your important documents.
- Keeping your documents locked with a password that only you know is also beneficial. Most laptops prompt users to enter a password to access the laptop, as soon as they are powered on. If your laptop doesn’t have this feature automatically, change your settings in the control panel of your laptop.
- Nowadays, tablets and smartphones have the ability to lock with fingerprint, numerical, spoken, and typed passwords. Utilize these services built into your smart devices to ensure your privacy in these devices. Otherwise, with just a few simple taps, a lot of important, confidential information can be accessed if unsecured.
4. Document All Information for Your Work Devices
- Document important identifiers to your devices, such as serial numbers, product numbers, product names, etc. This can help authorities to locate your device, or at the very least, help you to properly report the device as lost or stolen.
5. Keep an Eye on Your Devices
- When traveling during the holiday season, we tend to see a lot of different faces, especially at family parties. Be sure to always be mindful of where your devices are, and who has access to them. For example, you may want to avoid leaving your devices in areas of high traffic (such as the living room or kitchen), or in areas where children can easily access your devices.
- Also be sure to keep your devices away from foods and liquids, as well. Technical disasters are only a spill away.
6. Keep Trackers on Your Devices
- For Apple users, devices can be tracked through the cloud services, or through the “Find My Mac” application for laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
- For Windows users, you can track your devices with third-party softwares, such as Prey, LockItTight, or LoJack for Laptops.
- Tracking devices are a surefire way to ensure that you will be able to find your device, should it come up missing.
7. Only Bring What You Really Need
- When traveling, it is always best to pack light, especially when considering your electronic devices. It may be beneficial for you in the long run to choose between your laptop, tablet, or smartphone when traveling, rather than toting all three. Having only one central device to use for business while traveling during the holiday season will make it easier to keep track of your devices, as well as safeguard yourself and your information from hackers and other cyber criminals.