Protecting your computer
As well as storing a considerable volume of information, data and photos (including irreplaceable content), your computer may also provide access to all your accounts: email, banking, online stores, utilities, phones, entertainment … the list seems endless. This makes it vital to protect your computer against theft, loss, damage and unauthorised access.
Ensure you have effective and updated internet security software running and remember to securely back up all the contents of your computer, protecting it by password or biometric means (e.g. thumbprint). Keep your computer in a safe place and ensure your home, office or other premises where it is kept is protected from theft and physical damage from heat, fire or water. Consider using some kind of locking device to make it more difficult to remove.
Carefully dispose of packaging for new computers and similar equipment … don’t advertise their presence. Security-mark your computer and make a note of serial numbers to enable reporting if your computer is stolen. You can also register your device on the Immobilise National Property Register.
If you have a laptop that you take out and about, get a padded bag for it, as many laptops are damaged by being dropped. Keep your laptop with you when out and about and take care not to leave it vulnerable if falling asleep on public transport. Don’t leave your laptop unattended in a public place or leave it in your vehicle, especially on view in the passenger compartment. Lock it away when staying in hotels e.g. in the room safe.
Remember not to dispose of unwanted computers unless you’ve thoroughly erased confidential information or destroyed the hard drive. Simply deleting files isn’t enough. Notify the police if your computer is stolen or lost and get a crime or loss reference number (if on a train, notify British Transport Police).