NCSAM Tip #12: Cover Your Company’s Assets When Traveling
As the economy stutters forward and more corporations and businesses begin to lift travel restrictions for employees, more laptops will be traveling, too. National Cyber Security Awareness Month is a good time to rethink an inexpensive, low-tech solution to securing potentially millions of dollars worth of intellectual property and corporate brand protection.
Perhaps you are one of the lucky ones finally able to attend a professional conference. You’ve packed your bags and your laptop, brushed up your industry jargon, made sure the coffee pot is turned off and the cat is fed, and backed out of your driveway to make a happy trip to the airport.
Did you remember to open the garage door so that all neighbors and passers-by might view and help themselves to your personal stuff while you are traveling? Perhaps you have a privacy hedge to prevent the neighbors from observing the day to day appropriate (or inappropriate) activities that might affect your personal brand in the ‘hood—did you remember to cut it down?
Absurd as these actions sound, sadly, they point to a lackadaisical attitude toward using a privacy filter on your laptop when traveling or in public places. A privacy screen, in case it’s been a few fiscal quarters since you used one, is that thin piece of dark plastic material that clips to your laptop screen. The privacy screen, or filter, makes viewing your laptop at any other angle than head-on nearly impossible. If you need to look at sensitive data in public, a privacy filter keeps your data safe for Your Eyes Only in a highly effective and inexpensive manner.
When traveling, a privacy filter, available for less than US$40, protects sales figures, confidential and classified information, and sensitive data. Prying eyes come from shoulder surfers in coffee shops, in airport bars, and from the seat next to you in Business Class. No longer can it be assumed that, regardless of how your seatmate dresses or talks, their IT-savvy and interest in your business is, these days, unfortunately perennial and possibly better and keener than yours. Attackers fly Business Class, too. Always use your privacy filter when traveling. Guard well the sensitive information on your laptop screen. Securing your company’s data is your responsibility and protecting your company’s assets is as important as protecting your own. Let it become as automatic as closing your garage door when it’s open.