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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?

Agony Aunt: Which is the safest web browser?

Dear HP,

I read recently that the German government issued warnings about various web browsers. Which ones are safest?

- Online but nervous

 

Security firms, government agencies and IT companies regularly issue warnings about vulnerabilities in popular software and operating systems. For example, in the UK you can get alerts from GetSafeOnline.org. While individual alerts sometimes get a lot of press attention, the underlying message is really about staying up to date with patches and updates whatever software you use. This is because online criminals discover vulnerabilities in a piece of software and exploit them to install viruses. At the same time, software companies fix these vulnerabilities as soon as they are discovered. It’s like an arms race. If you fall behind you are more vulnerable.

 

Make sure you use the latest version of your preferred browser and that you have anti-virus software on your PC with an up-to-date subscription. This will protect you from the vast majority browser-related problems. If you want to switch browsers, here are links to some of the most popular: Microsoft Internet Explorer 8, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera and Apple Safari. You can also read our advice on how to protect your business online.  

Tags: security
Labels: security

When laptops go AWOL

329i109BBB059EC382F3Intel IT Galaxy UK has an interesting article about anti-theft solutions for notebooks. If the MOD and security services can lose laptops, you have to accept that mere mortals without state secrets are also at risk of losing laptops or seeing them stolen. This is where Intel Anti-Theft Technology comes in. It can help by encrypting sensitive information and locking down the computer if it detects that it has been stolen. Very cool. With the right software (such as Computrace LoJack) and configuration this technology is available on a wide range of HP Business Notebooks. For more information on this topic, check out HP Business Answers' article: How to secure laptop data against theft.

 

Labels: security
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About the Author(s)
  • Matthew Stibbe is CEO at Articulate Marketing and TurbineHQ. He is an HP fanboy.