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Getting Physical When Protecting The Virtual

September 21, 2015
As a savvy computer user, you already know the different ways that hackers can get to your virtual data. So you've taken appropriate steps to safeguard your digital information through the use of security software. However, you may not realize that thieves can break through your virtual protections by accessing your data through physical means. You can follow these tips to prevent that from happening.

  • Watch where your screens are facing. If your desktop monitors or tablet screens are visible to anyone walking by, there's a chance that they can simply look at any confidential data or photograph it for nefarious purposes later on. This can also happen if your displays happen to face a window and somebody in the next building can look at them with binoculars or zoom cameras. The simple solution to this kind of theft is to ensure that your screens are shielded from scrutiny. Turn your desktop displays toward the wall behind you and use screens of your mobile devices only if nobody behind you can look at them.
  • Keep portables under lock and key. While it's physically inconvenient for someone to take your desktop, a criminal can easily snatch your portable devices, such as laptops and smart phones, if they are left lying around. Never leave your digital machines where they can easily be picked up. Secure your portable devices in a locked desk drawer if you need to leave for lunch. And always lock the door to any room that contains a desktop.
  • Don't log into unsecured WiFi. You may like to get your work done at the local coffee shop but keep in mind that their Wi-Fi access is typically unsecure. The person at the next table can be eavesdropping on the data you send and receive without your knowing it and without even viewing your screen. They may also be surreptitiously video recording your keystrokes in order to glean such important information as your account numbers and passwords. If you ever need to use unsecured WiFi, avoid websites or databases where you have to log in or reveal important numbers.
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