Magazine Articles - 2 - Focus Magazines for Over Wyre and GarstangAs security is such a big subject, I’m going to be covering more of it throughout this year
Computer Safety no. 1 : 04-January-2013
In October I wrote about Get Safe Online, the government initiative to help everyone to stay safe online, and their GSOL Week. As security is such a big subject, I’m going to be covering more of it throughout this year.
Keeping safe online requires three different aspects to be working properly –hardware, software and the user. All three need to be right to keep problems and the bad guys at bay.
Hardware is the first element – this is the equipment you use so it includes PCs, laptops, tablets (eg. iPads) and ‘smartphones’.
All of this should be kept physically secure, which means protecting it from a number of risks. Like most items in the home, computer equipment and mobile phones etc are vulnerable to fire, flood, and accidental damage as well as to the risk of theft. ... you need to take all the usual precautions to keep your equipment safe from being stolen or lost just like you would any valuablesHowever, the consequences of losing your computer can be much more serious because of the information stored on it – this can be irreplaceable material such as photos, music, contact numbers, or that book you’ve spent two years writing, or it can be personal/financial information which could be used for the purposes of fraud etc. So you need to take all the usual precautions to keep your equipment safe from being stolen or lost just like you would any valuables.
Additional advice for IT equipment:
- If you are at risk from flooding, try to keep computers out of danger on upper floors or on top of tables/desks rather than on the floor.
- Position machines carefully – don’t leave them where they can be knocked off, leave cables trailing to trip people up, or block the air vents etc.
- Make a note of computer serial numbers to enable reporting if stolen (and store the note away from the computer!)
- Use a security marker to label your computers.
- Register your computer equipment on the Immobilise National Property Register (www.immobilise.com). If it is recovered by the police, there is a better chance of being reunited with you.
- Get a padded bag - many laptops are damaged simply by dropping them.
- Keep equipment with you whenever possible if you take it away from home. When it is unattended, keep it hidden or physically locked up. Carry laptops in hand baggage on an aircraft or coach. Never leave a laptop on a car seat. Even if you are in the car, your laptop is vulnerable whilst parking or at traffic lights.
If your equipment goes missing, notify the Police (or if it was on a train, the British Transport Police) and obtain a crime or loss reference number for tracking and insurance purposes. If you have registered with the Immobilise National Property Register, log on and update their records to show the theft. If you have stored any passwords in a document on your PC or laptop, or have ever ticked the ‘remember this password’ box on a website, change your passwords as soon as possible.
There is plenty of advice available on the Get Safe Online website at www.getsafeonline.org, or please give me a ring for a quick chat.
- Date: January 2013
- Publication: Over Wyre Focus and Garstang Focus
- Page: Over Wyre - 58 / Garstang - 22
- Link: www.focusmags.co.uk