You’re in the car on the way home from Starbucks, basking in the glowing of your triple-shot, low-foam, extra hot pumpkin spice latte when you suddenly realize your laptop has gone missing. You drive back to the store like a caffeinated lunatic, only to discover no one has turned it in. What do you do?

Well, first you should notify your IT department (us!) immediately to tell them your device has gone missing. That way, we can change passwords and lock access to applications and data. We can also remotely wipe your device to make sure no one will be able to gain access — a key reason it’s critical to backup your data on a daily basis.

Next, change ALL the passwords to every website you regularly log into, starting with any sites that contain financial data or company data. If your laptop contained others’ medical records, financial information, or other sensitive data (social security numbers, birthdays, etc.), you should contact a qualified attorney to understand what you may be required to do by law to notify the affected individuals.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so make sure you’re engaging us to encrypt/backup your data, and put remote monitoring software on all your mobile devices. Put a pin-code lock or password requirement in place to access your devices after 10 minutes of inactivity, and get in the habit of logging out of websites when you’re done using them.

6 Surefire Ways To Protect Yourself From Data Leaks, Hacks, And Scandals

  1. Reconsider what you put online. This goes beyond social media posts. Even sharing your telephone number with a store associate can come back to bite you later.
  2. Use password managers. This way, you can use different, randomized passwords for all your sites without losing track of them.
  3. Use two-factor authentication. It’s a nobrainer.
  4. Encrypt the information on your drive. It’s easier than it sounds!
  5. Read privacy policies, otherwise you may be signing away more than you think.
  6. Monitor your credit. That way, if someone tries to use your info to make a big purchase, you can stop it in its tracks., 4/26/18