Computer Security: What You Need to Know

Computer Security: What You Need to Know

Campbell Faulkner
Jul 28, 2010

American novelist and poet Don Williams Jr. once remarked, "despair is most often the offspring of ill-preparedness." A sentiment most anyone painfully understands once they've become the victim of tech theft in or outside the home. Computer security is often thought of as merely a software issue, with focus primarily spent upon preventing hackers and other scoundrels from stealing vital information. But significantly more important (yet often an ignored aspect of computer security) is asset control: keeping your computer devices safely secured from actually being physically lifted.

Common security protocol involves setting a new, difficult password frequently, keeping software up to date, and not allowing your network to be accessible. Small businesses and individuals often fail to lock computers, leaving them open to all sorts of litigation and other problems if a stolen computer has sensitive personal information on it.

Locking a computer up can be as simple as a ready-made computer lock or as complex as sealing them inside vaults. The safest approach is to take precautionary measures which anticipate your computer may be targeted for theft when opportunity allows. I carry a computer lock in my messenger bag and deploy it anytime I will be removing my hand from my laptop for more than a minute; better safe than sorry, especially when it comes to easy to snatch portable computers.

The same is true at home; I lock my desktop to my desk to prevent a thief from having an easy time getting away in a burglary. Many desks have lockable drawers and these provide excellent gadget storage to prevent theft at work or at home. You never know who you can trust at your next dinner party.

Analyzing and securing the physical security of your valuables, especially tech items, can be a fairly simple process. Utilizing physical security devices can be the difference between a thief leaving with your valuables/valuable information or making it difficult enough to deter would-be thieves from completing the crime. Below are recommendations for products which offer solid security, alongside a couple to avoid:

Suggested Locking Solutions: These provide safe and reliable operation, not failsafe but a strong enough deterrent.

Poor Locking Solutions: These are not worth the money, providing insufficient security features.

Additional Resources: These websites provide background and additional information about physical computer security.

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