Device Security: Physical Theft

For those of us who work primarily off of laptops, tablets, or cell phones, having our devices stolen can be a very real fear. There are some steps that you can take to reduce the chances of theft, like never leaving your devices in your car or unattended in a public place. There are some other steps you can take to make sure that, even if your device is stolen, your data will be safe. Secure your devices from physical theft with these tips.


Always lock your device.

You should always lock your device if you’re going to be walking away from it, even at the office. You can use a pin, a passcode, or a biometric lock like a fingerprint scanner. It only takes a few seconds for you to log in each time, and the extra layer of security that a lock provides is well worth that time.


Log out of your accounts.

This is essential if you’re using a shared device, and still great advice if you’re using a private one. You should always double check that you’re fully logged out of your online accounts. If your web account has any potentially sensitive information relating to you or your business, log out after every session!


Install a device-finding app.

Many devices nowadays come with built in anti-theft technology. Most cell phones today have the “find my device” feature that will allow you to remotely locate your device, or even wipe it if it contains sensitive information that you can’t risk falling into the wrong hands. If you’re using a device that doesn’t have these features built in, there are device finding apps that can help do this. Lookout and Prey are two such apps, but you should research and find the right app that fits your security needs.


Use strong passwords.

Passwords are the keys to the information you want protected, so make sure they are secure! Here are some practices  you can implement to help keep your passwords as safe as possible.

  • Use a phrase – around 10 to 12 characters is ideal
  • Keep each password unique to its account, don’t recycle passwords
  • Play with capitalizations and numbers
  • Don’t go overboard! You still need to be able to remember your password.


Don’t leave your devices unattended.

Don’t tempt fate by leaving your devices in places where they can easily be stolen. If you’re working from a coffee shop, pack your computer in your bag and take it with you if you’re going to be walking away from your table. You shouldn’t leave devices in plain view in your car, either. Ideally you should just never leave valuable devices in your car, but if you need to, make sure that they’re stowed under a seat or covered up.