Business Answers
Business Answers is a place where HP in the UK can engage with owner-managers in small and medium-sized companies. It embraces this blog, a vibrant LinkedIn group, Twitter and YouTube videos. We hope you find this useful and that you will share your thoughts with us by leaving comments and sharing articles you like with your colleagues.

Would you give your notebook a poison pill?

This is a guest post from Intel's Jeff Hewlett and it first appeared on Intel IT Galaxy UK.


438i0C7B381895564D35What a stupid question, why would anyone want to give their own laptop a ‘Poison Pill’?


Consider this, about 2 million laptops disappear every year and the number is growing. Almost all of them are never seen again.
It’s bad enough losing a personal laptop as it can contain critical personal information. Imagine how much more serious it would be if you run a small business and your laptop disappears one day. Think of the consequences, what data do you have on your laptop hard drive;


  • Company accounting
  • Employees pay details, bank accounts
  • Employee personal data
  • Customer names and addresses
  • Customer banking/credit card information


No telling what would happen if this gets into the wrong hands and it most likely will at some point. Plus you have also got to replace an expensive company asset.


I have seen plenty of small business surveys where respondents cite security as a top priority but often this only extends to antivirus, antispyware and firewall etc. Antitheft technology is relatively new but deployment is growing rapidly and it’s not just for the NHS and MoD.


How does Antitheft technology work? Quite simple really, if your laptop goes missing or gets stolen a timer or internet-activated ‘poison pill’ permanently disables the laptop rendering the data secure and the laptop unusable. Click here to see more information and a great short video on the Intel Anti-theft homepage. A disabled laptop can display a customizable recovery message with contact information to help return the laptop to its rightful owner.


For those of you old enough to be car drivers in the late 80’s and early 90’s you will remember the pandemic outbreak of car radio thefts. Car radio theft on this scale was dramatically reduced by adding security features; PIN codes that had to be re-entered when the radio was disconnected from the vehicle. Can anti-theft technology for laptops have the same effect?

Your office in a backpack

315iBFB0142579371133You might not be a digital nomad, working full-time from cafes, airports and bars. However, packing a few key bits of kit will ensure you’re ready to work in new places.


Core kit

There’s some basic gear no mobile worker should be without:

  • A small, light computer like the HP Mini. Its energy efficient Intel processor means it’ll last hours on a single charge. If you need more power, get a full-size notebook instead or a high-powered but ultra-portable HP EliteBook with Intel® Core™ i5 or i7 processors.
  • A smartphone. Trade your five-year-old brick for a smartphone that lets you check email, view websites and even read and edit documents.
  • Power essentials. Although clever power management in Microsoft Windows can extend battery life, it’s wise to take your charger, plus a socket doubler to avoid plug-jostling. Taking an extra battery or choosing a long-life battery for your notebook can keep you going all day.

To access the internet, you’ll either need a wireless network or – to get connected from nearly anywhere – a mobile broadband connection. Some HP notebooks have a slot for a SIM card so you can connect to mobile broadband without any extra equipment or you can buy a plug 3G modem.


Handy accessories

Carefully chosen accessories will add minimal weight to your bag and can make you more productive:

  • Noise-cancelling headphones. Loud cafe? Busy train? A good pair of headphones can give you peace and quiet. If you take lots of phone calls, consider a Bluetooth headset too.
  • A mouse and wrist rest. Working on a laptop can be an ergonomic nightmare. Carry a portable mouse and – depending on your laptop – a wrist rest to stave off aches and pains.
  • The right low tech. It’s not all about electronics. Stick a decent notepad and a few pens into your bag. If you tend to scribble notes on scraps of paper, organise them in a zip-up folder.

Staying secure

Mobile working poses some security risks. To stop people seeing what you’re working on in public, consider using a screen guard to block their view. And to avoid drawing attention to your kit when you’re in the street, don’t use an obvious laptop bag. Instead, use a padded laptop sleeve inside a nondescript bag. You can buy computer accessories from the main HP website.

Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Do you mean 
Follow Us
About the Author(s)
  • Matthew Stibbe is CEO at Articulate Marketing and TurbineHQ. He is an HP fanboy.
The opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the authors, not of HP. By using this site, you accept the Terms of Use and Rules of Participation