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05/07/2010
IconProtect Your Laptop: 7 Tips for Travelers By John Sileo www.Sileo.com Laptop anti-theft, or protecting your mobile data, is a MUST for corporations and consumers. Almost half of workplace identity theft takes place because of mobile data. And the average value of the data on your laptop can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to a corporate spy or experienced identity thief. At the higher end of the scale, the value of the 26 million Veteran identities on a laptop lost over a year ago was estimated to be worth more than $100 million. Those are the types of computer security risks that can make your business unprofitable. But there are solutions. Broken Window Theory: By removing graffiti and repairing broken windows in crime hot-spots throughout New York City, the NYPD was able to drastically reduce the entire city's overall crime rate (not just the quantity of graffiti and broken windows), including thefts, burglaries, muggings and murders. In other words, certain actions that we take (e.g., focusing on crime hot-spots rather than on every type of crime) can have a disproportionately positive effect on achieving our goal (e.g., lower crime rates). Business translation: you get a far higher return on investment for certain well-planned tactical strikes than you do for far more expensive strategic initiatives. My point? In the world of workplace identity theft and corporate data breach, laptop computers are the biggest broken window. Not only do laptops account for a disproportionate amount of data theft, but training the organization to properly protect mobile computers has a radiant effect on all other types of identity protection. Good habits in one area breed good habits in others. Stop the theft of corporate laptops (or personal laptops with corporate data on them) and you have eliminated approximately 50% of the entire data breach problem at a fraction of the security cost. Laptop theft generally occurs in transit: airports, hotels, cars, commuter trains, conferences, off-site meetings, vacations, coffee shops, etc. Build laptop anti-theft training into your organizational culture of privacy: 7 Laptop Anti-Theft Tips for Travelers 1. Laptop Anti-Theft Tip #1: Leave it at home. Okay, I know most of us won't leave our laptops at home when traveling because we would be leaving our digital identity behind. But data theft goes through the roof on the road, so consider using your password protected iPhone or BlackBerry to keep in touch. If it is critical that you travel with your laptop, then... 2. Laptop Anti-Theft Tip #2: Carry less data. Stop carrying data on your laptop computer that you don't absolutely need. If you don't need to have client information on the hard drive, don't put it there in the first place. If you have an encrypted VPN connection with your company, pull the files off of your corporate network once you are at your destination (e.g., work, hotel, meeting). Many executives that have hired me to speak to their organizations (and take computer data security seriously) have an inexpensive netbook (very small laptop) that they take on the road. Its only purpose is for travel. Instead of carrying all of their sensitive files on the netbook hard drive, they take only what they need for the trip, and still have the ability to access the web, email and any cloud computing software (Salesforce.com, Wordpress, etc.) during their travels. 3. Laptop Anti-Theft Tip #3: Use strong passwords. Passwords are the primary locks on our laptops. Make sure that you create an alpha-numeric-symbol-upper-lower-case password, like P@55w0rd! (do you see the hidden word that makes this easy to remember? By the way, don't use this password). The longer the password, the better. I recommend passwords greater than 8 characters. I use a password protection program that I love called 1Password (available for the Mac, which I use because I find it to be a safer computing platform). It allows me to use highly-secure passwords that I don't have to keep track of in an unsafe way (a spreadsheet, in my phone, in Outlook). 4. Laptop Anti-Theft Tip #4: Use the hotel safe (See Video here .) Most hotels have safes in the room that let you determine the combination. I feel that these are relatively safe. Sometimes your laptop won't fit, so I suggest that you pull the hard drive out of the laptop (which is where all of the identity lives) and place that in the safe. In a pinch, place the DO NOT DISTURB sign on your door when you leave for the day to lower the chances of someone entering your room during the day. True, your room won't get cleaned, but you are keeping potential thieves not just from your laptop, but from any client documents, passports or intellectual capital that might be in the room. No matter how clever we are, hiding valuables is a poor option. Can't you just picture a person who appears to be a hotel employee leisurely searching the few hiding places in your room? A thief will know every one of those spots by heart. See the video above. 5. Laptop Anti-Theft Tip #5: Encrypt your hard drive. The data on your hard drive is no good if the thief can't make any sense of it. For a very small investment, you can install software on your laptop that makes it exceptionally difficult for a thief to get to your private information. Encryption turns your data into a puzzle that only your password unlocks. If you are using a company laptop, check with your I.T. department before installing encryption. They may have already done it for you. Apple laptops come standard with encryption, but you have to turn it on and understand the implications for your network sharing. 6. Laptop Anti-Theft Tip #6: Lock it up. Even when you are not traveling, the best policy is to physically lock up your laptop. More laptops are stolen out of the back of cars while you are shopping, out of your laptop bag while buying coffee, out of your office while it is unattended and out of homes while you are on vacation. Take an extra minute to lock it up in a locking filing cabinet, a fire safe or behind a locked door. Even if it only makes it less convenient for the thief, it improves your chances that they will move on to a less prepared victim. 7. Laptop Anti-Theft Tip #7: Destroy it. Remember, your data has a whole lot longer life than your laptop! When you are through with it, make sure that you digitally shred the hard drive before you donate it, give it back to the HR department or throw it away. Just because the laptop is out of date doesn't mean that the data on it is too. About the author: After losing his business to data breach and his reputation to identity theft, John Sileo became America's leading identity theft and data breach speaker. His recent clients include the Department of Defense, the FDIC, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Pfizer. Learn more about Identity Theft Expert John Sileo here . Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

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05/07/2010
IconJuggling Work andFamily When You Work at Home By Jill Hart http://AskJill.cwahm.com Q: I have been having my homebased business for three years now and I still am struggling with howto juggle business and being a mom, wife and housekeeper. How do youjuggle these? I want to make this a success, but so far it's only beenfrustration. My children are four and two years old and they are more challengingthan most (not as in spoiled, but as in needing more time than theaverage kid). Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated! A: GREAT question. My kids arenow seven and four, so I now have a little bit of help in myseven-year-old. But, I found something that I had written a few yearsago. In it, I listed my kids' ages as four and one. I could tell whenreading it that I had been very frazzled. I think I lived in a state offrazzled during those years when they were both so small. My main advice would be to cut yourself some slack. Things will geteasier and more manageable as your kids get older. My practical advice is this: 1. Plan out menus each week. I literally spend about two minutes on this. I have a small magneticdry-erase board that I keep on my refrigerator. Each Sunday, I writeout the days of the week and what we'll have for supper that day.(Lunches almost always consist of sandwiches or something easy likethat since it's just me and the kids.) This makes grocery shopping a breeze because I know just whatingredients I need. It also alleviates the nagging thoughts of "whatare we going to eat tonight?" If possible, have one or both of yourkids help you decide what to put. You'll be surprised at how much theylike having a say in what goes on that board! 2. Set a day for everything. My days look something like this with children taking precedent: Mondays - Housework andlaundry (and business tasks as time allows) Tuesdays - Grocery shoppingand business tasks (this used to be during naptime, but is now duringschool time) Wednesdays - Bible study andlunch with hubby (and business tasks as time allows) Thursdays - Business tasksas much as possible with playtime in between Friday - Take it Easy Day(and business tasks as time allows) Saturdays - Laundry Sunday - Church and a good,long nap It seems a little boring on paper,but I can't tell you how much this little schedule has saved my sanity.I know when I get up in the morning what I have ahead of me and it isbroken into manageable segments. You'll find that scheduling thingsamongst these "main" schedule items will get easier and easier as youget used to the schedule. About the Author: Jill Hart is the founder ofChristian Work at Home Moms, CWAHM.com. Jill is a co-author of theupcoming book So You Want To Be a Work-at-Home Mom (Beacon Hill, Sept.2009). Jill welcomes work-at-home questions at http://AskJill.cwahm.com . Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

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