Currently set to Index

Business Travelers: Here Are The Backup and Security Tips You Need

People often overlook backups of their personal computers and by the time they lose files they go around in panic trying to come back to normal (to avoid that March 31st is the World Backup Day – to remind people at least once a year to backup their documents). But if you are a business user, an executive, you cannot just offload everything to IT and go on with your heart’s desire. Not only you have corporate responsibilities but also there are tasks you need to take care of yourself. Here is my collection of tips from the field, from my interactions with the traveling business users.

Backup first. The importance of having regular backups has been voiced by pretty much everybody and I will emphasize it once again. Have regular backups. Just purchase a small, USB drive and keep it connected to your computer and setup backup from Windows or Time Machine if you are a Mac user. If you don’t want to be bothered, have an IT staff do it for you. Whatever the case, do it. In a business travel you can find your laptop dead, you can replace it with an ordinary laptop to keep it going through your travel but you may not be able to find and access your files. That will make your laptop purchase useless and your trip pretty much inefficient at best.

Business Travelers - Here Are The Backup and Security Tips You Need - Inline Image

Yes, this looks very convenient. But do you know to where does the charging cable connect to?

Speaking of the laptops, many executives do not shut down their equipment. The snob phrase “I cannot wait the time it takes to boot” is the explanation they give because frankly they are not informed about the risks that come with just closing the lid of the notebook. The equipments have USB, Firewire, Thunderbolt ports which provide connection to the device and these ports do not have any idea of security. They are simply not designed that way. So, when you close the lid of your laptop and go out to lunch, a big USB device can be plugged in and copy your drive’s contents. Coming back, you will not see anything wrong but God knows what has been put or copied from your laptop. The same goes for the tablets and mobile phones as well. When you will not be using it, shut your equipment down. At least they will need a password to boot it.

In all your systems make sure you are using encryption. I do agree that it is one another password entry during boot and very little performance loss, but considering the protection it offers in case of a loss or theft, it is priceless. You would not want to be the executive of an insurance company that had his laptop stolen and some thousands of customer data is compromised. You probably won’t and that is the reason why you need to encrypt all the corporate data in all your devices, from your laptop to your tablet, from your corporate mobile to your backup disk, you should encrypt everything. And yes, not just the folders, entire physical drives.

Speaking of external disks, there is an often unforgotten issue: keeping the backup wherever you go. This doesn’t sound an issue at first, but imagine that your laptop bag is gone and you have your backup disk in that bag. Yes, you should normally keep your backup disk somewhere else. I would suggest you to keep it in your hotel room’s safe. You may argue the level of security hotel safes provide; and to be frank, considering Jim Sticky can open a hotel room safe with a pocket knife and paper clip, I cannot argue that the safes are “safe.” Balancing both thoughts, whether the hotel room safe is safe against the loss of both computer and backup, I find it more common sense to store the backup disk locked in the hotel room safe. If it’s not stolen, you will have your backups and even if they steal it the disks will be encrypted and no information can be recovered (we just agreed on using encryption, yes?)

Aside from unauthorized physical access, there is the access from the network. When travelling, make sure that your firewall blocks as many connection requests as possible. If you do not have the technical knowledge about firewalls, ask your IT staff to configure the firewall as securely as  they can.

During your travels, when you are connected to any network – hotel’s, customer’s, café’s – enable VPN as the first thing. A VPN connection may be a little bit slower compared to a non-VPN one, but since all of your data will go through the VPN and since it is encrypted by default, you will not risk compromising your information. Speaking from a strict security perspective, anyone could bring forth their arguments for and against VPN connections, but ultimately every one of them will agree that it is way more secure than a plain connection to the hotel’s network.

When you are connected, make sure that you block connection requests as much as possible and avoid using active content in the websites you don’t fully trust. That means, firing up a small Flash game and passing some time on your notebook may sound fine, but it certainly is not a good idea from a security perspective. The same goes for the Java and ActiveX content as well.

RELATED:   Did the U.S. Government Learn Anything From the ACA Website Failure?

You may have some time when you are running out of charge on your mobile and the café/restaurant you are in offers a charge box. The charge box may have a locker to provide a physical security, it may charge your mobile just fine and solve your problem but you will never know where the charging cable is connected to – is it connected to a wall outlet or is it connected to a USB hub that someone else is playing with in the background? To overcome such annoyances, put a powerbank or a spare battery to your daily bag.

So here are my complete list of tips. Do you feel that I left out something? Do you have a tip that I did not state? Share with us in the comments!

References:

  • Featured image: https://www.free-hidrive.com/
  • Chargebox: http://www.dailydooh.com/

whg_banner.new.10k

How to Find a Successful Name For Your New Blog?
How to Find a Successful Name For Your New Blog?

One of the most important decisions you can make to ensure your blog is among the best is to select a name. While there are more than 500 million blogs available...

How-to Start a Blog – Review of the Best 10 Blogging Platforms
How-to Start a Blog – Review of the Best 10 Blogging Platforms

If you want to start a blog as fast as possible, then you need to consider choosing a blogging platform. Thankfully, there are some excellent free and paid blogging platforms...

How Referral Marketing Can Benefit Web Hosts
How Referral Marketing Can Benefit Web Hosts

Even if the niche of web hosts are fully loaded with a lot of companies they are still one of the easiest to promote because you could write your own...

Broken Links: How to Find, Fix, and Benefit from Broken Links
Broken Links: How to Find, Fix, and Benefit from Broken Links

Links are what holds the web together. Essentially, the web is named as such because of the ability for pages and sites to link to other sources and relevant information....

Brand Value & the Most Powerful Brands (with Infographic)
Brand Value & the Most Powerful Brands (with Infographic)

Brand value – everyone wants it, however, only few are able to achieve it. The subject of “brand value” holds a significant position amongst marketers, executives, and entrepreneurs. Let’s discuss...

Reasons why your business should shift to Cloud hosting
Reasons why your business should shift to Cloud hosting

Cloud hosting has been on the rise since its inception. The improvement to your website performance and business efficiency that comes with Cloud hosting is almost tangible.

Why We Love the IT Support Career?
Why We Love the IT Support Career?

In almost all of my posts I was talking about the stressful side of the IT – the long hours, end user issues, migrations, midnight calls and the like. But...

IT Manager: Ways To Show Your Appreciation To Your Team
IT Manager: Ways To Show Your Appreciation To Your Team

Surely your team struggled hard and made things happen. You cannot say “this is what you get paid for” and just leave – you cannot keep your IT staff that...

6 Comments

  • Avatar for Vinay Goswami Vinay Goswami says:

    It’s a very Informative article you have posted. It is very useful to us.
    thank you

  • Avatar for Jen Jen says:

    Love that you emphasize the importance of shutting a computer down properly. And YES backups are incredibly important — it’s not just your personal info, it’s your business info! So important to protect that info from every risk.

  • Avatar for John John says:

    Hey Tolga,
    Thanks for the tips, being a business traveler i prefer uploading all the data on cloud, as i can access it from anywhere. What are your thoughts on storing data to cloud?

  • Avatar for Peter John Peter John says:

    Thanks Tolga!
    I completely agree with your views and like your writing on power bank because this make travelling more easy and secure. Few years before i have to find charging point to keep up my mobile but now i can keep moving while charging.

  • Avatar for Tolga Balci Tolga Balci says:

    Hi Tauseef,
    Thank you very much to share your experience with us.
    Powerbank is an excellent solution. We don’t need to carry the bulky ones with us – a small, light one with about 3000 mA will be enough to make us go through the day. Considering the risks that this weight will save us, carrying it is not even an inconvenience.
    Thank you!

  • Avatar for Tauseef Alam Tauseef Alam says:

    I keep a powerbank with me when I travel and charge my phone using that only.

    You concern is all valid the chargebox may charge your mobile just fine and solve your problem but you will never know where the charging cable is connected to.

    Really helpful backup & security tips for travelers like me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *