Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Wireless hotspots are changing the way people work. These wireless local area networks (LANs) provide high speed Internet connection in public locations—as well as at home—and need nothing more than a mobile PC such as a laptop or notebook computer equipped with a wireless card.

In fact, hotspots are an everyday connection method for travelers and remote workers to browse the Internet, check their email, and even work on their corporate networks while away from the office.Hotspots range from paid services to public, free connections. Hot spots are everywhere, including:

Coffee shops
Hotel lobbies

But they all have one thing in common—they are all open networks that are vulnerable to security breaches. And that means it's up to you to protect the data on your PC. Below we cover a few tips to make working in public locations more secure.

1.Try to choose more secure connections
It's not always possible to choose your connection type—but when you can, opt for
wireless networks that require a network security key or have some other form of
security, such as a certificate. The information sent over these networks is encrypted, which can help protect your computer from unauthorized access. The security features of different networks appear along with the network name as your PC discovers them.

2.Make sure your firewall is activated
A firewall helps protect your mobile PC by preventing unauthorized users from gaining access to your computer through the Internet or a network. It acts as a barrier that checks all incoming information, and then either blocks the information or allows it to come through. All Microsoft Windows operating systems come with a firewall, and you can make sure it's turned on.

3.Monitor your access points
Chances are that there are multiple wireless networks anywhere you're trying to
connect. These connections are all access points, because they link into the wired
system that gives you Internet access. So how do you make sure you're connecting to the right one? Simple—by configuring your PC to let you approve access points before you connect.

4.Disable file and printer sharing
File and printer sharing is a feature that enables other computers on a network to
access resources on your computer. When you are using your mobile PC in a hotspot, it's best to disable file and printer sharing—when it's enabled, it leaves your computer vulnerable to hackers. Remember, though, to turn this feature back on when you return to the office.

5.Make your folders private
When the folders on your mobile PC are private, it's more difficult for hackers to
access your files.

6.Encrypt your files
You can protect your files further by encrypting them, which requires a password to
open or modify them. Because you must perform this procedure on one file at a time,
consider password-protecting only the files that you plan to use while working in a
public place.

7.Consider completely removing sensitive data from your notebook PC
If you're working with extremely sensitive data, it might be worth taking it off your notebook PC altogether. Instead, save it on a corporate network share and access it only when necessary. This way, you have multiple safeguards in place.


Using your laptop to get work done away from your office or on the road is becoming widely accepted. But this rapid growth in laptop computing has made portable systems the target for theft in Nigeria and around the world. If your laptop computer is stolen, company information can be exposed, as well as your personal and financial information.

Use these 9 tips to learn how you can keep your laptop more secure when you're on the road.

1. Avoid using computer bags
Computer bags can make it obvious that you're carrying a laptop. Instead, try toting your laptop in something more common like a padded briefcase or suitcase.

2. Never leave access numbers or passwords in your carrying case
Keeping your password with your laptop is like keeping the keys in the car. Without your password or important access numbers it will be more difficult for a thief to access your personal and corporate information.

3. Carry your laptop with you
Always take your laptop on the plane or train rather then checking it with your luggage. It's easy to lose luggage and it's just as easy to lose your laptop. If you're traveling by car, keep your laptop out of sight. For example, lock it in the trunk when you're not using it.

4. Encrypt your data
If someone should get your laptop and gain access to your files, encryption can give you another layer of protection. With Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 you can choose to encrypt files and folders. Then, even if someone gains access to an important file, they can't decrypt it and see your information. Learn more about how to encrypt your data with Windows XP, encrypt your data with Windows Vista, or encrypt your data with Windows 7.

5. Keep your eye on your laptop
When you go through airport security don't lose sight of your bag. Hold your bag until the person in front of you has gone through the metal detector. Many bags look alike and yours can easily be lost in the shuffle.

6. Avoid setting your laptop on the floor
Putting your laptop on the floor is an easy way to forget or lose track of it. If you have to set it down, try to place it between your feet or against your leg (so you're always aware it's there).

7. Buy a laptop security device
If you need to leave your laptop in a room or at your desk, use a laptop security cable to securely attach it to a heavy chair, table, or desk. The cable makes it more difficult for someone to take your laptop. There are also programs that will report the location of a stolen laptop. They work when the laptop connects to the Internet, and can report the laptop's exact physical location. One such tracing program is ComputracePlus.

8. Use a screen guard
These guards help prevent people from peeking over your shoulder as you work on sensitive information in a public place. This is especially helpful when you're traveling or need to work in a crowded area. This screen guard from Secure-It is just one example of a screen guard you could use.

9. Try not to leave your laptop in your hotel room or with the front desk
Too many things have been lost in hotel rooms and may not be completely secure. If you must leave your laptop in your room, put the "do not disturb" sign on the door.