So, you’re in the car, you just left Starbucks, basking in the glow of consuming your 30 oz, triple-shot, low-foam, extra-hot pumpkin-spice latte when you suddenly realize you left your laptop at Starbucks. You drive back like the caffeinated lunatic that you are, only to discover no one has turned it in.

What do you do?

That depends on what previous precautions you have - or haven’t - taken.

First, IF you’ve properly protected your data, password-protected the access to your device and shut down and logged off all key applications, you’ve got a bit more time to respond. But the first thing to do, whether or not you’ve taken those precautionary measures, is to notify your IT support team that you’ve lost your device.

If you’ve taken the right precautions, they may be able to change your passwords and lock down access to the applications and data that a thief will want to gain access to.

They may also be able to remotely wipe your device to make sure no one will be able to gain access to the data that is stored on that device. That’s why it’s so CRITICAL to back up your data on a daily basis!

Next, change ALL your passwords to every website you log in to, starting with any sites that contain financial data, like your bank accounts and investment accounts, legal accounts, tax accounts, vendor accounts and your company data access.

If your laptop contained client and or employee medical records, financial information or other sensitive data, like social security numbers, birthdays, etc., then you need to contact a qualified lawyer to understand what you are required to do by law to notify everyone who may be affected.

Simply put, an ounce of prevention is worth a TON of cure; so make sure you’re engaging with the right kind of IT support team to protect and back up your data.

Also, put a policy in place to require a pin-code lock or password to access a device after 5 minutes of inactivity, and get into the habit of logging out of websites when you’re done with them.

Does your IT support team do all of this for you? Do you really want to tell your clients that YOU may have caused their data to be compromised? If not, it’s time to consider other options!

Give us a call at (636) 542-8653 to learn more about protecting your business, clients and employees - from accidental data loss and the associated repercussions, fines, other penalties and reputation damage.

That’s it for Tip #9

Next week’s Tip will be “The DANGERS of Dropbox and Other File Sync Apps”

Remember, it ain’t poisonel – it's jus bidness…

Til nex time.