Monday, March 10, 2008
Road Warrior Security Tips
Here's a security tip or two for mobile computing with a Mac. Sending e-mail, making purchases online, and chatting while using a public WiFi hotspot has its security risks.
For the iPhone do use a password (PIN)! Your iPhone is loaded with personal data in address book and calendar. Surely, you don't want just anyone picking up your iPhone on the street perusing, and using your iPhone information.
As I have mentioned previously here, and endlessly with clients, do not use auto-login during start-up. Use the full login process on your Mac laptop. The longer start-up time is worth the added security, although bypassing the login is not difficult for the average high school student. Ensure additional security by using an encrypted PASSWORD storage application. ......
Do Not Store Passwords on ANY COMPUTER in a text file such as a MS-Word document, or in any other unencrypted format. I find perhaps 90 percent of my new clients storing online banking passwords, credit card information, social security numbers, and other information that forms the core of identity theft data, sitting on the desktop or in the Documents folder as a file named "Passwords!!!!"
Storing passwords in a text filed buried deep in multiple folders, and cleverly named "Chocolate Cake Recipe" won't cut it either. The power of Spotlight which is there for your own convenience, makes finding words like bank, visa, SSN, and password, anywhere WITHIN any user document on your entire hard drive discoverable within seconds by the wrong people. I've stunned more than one new client by producing their online banking URL and password within seconds of sitting down to their Mac. Easy. Any nine-year-old could do it.
Clients treat their laptops as if they were an imaginary physical appendage of their own body. Computers, both desktop models and laptops are stolen by the truckloads each year, and can also be accessed in other ways without your knowledge or consent. Is yours next?
- Use the Mac OS X login procedure during start-up. Do not use auto-login.
- Use an encrypted password storage application to store sensitive personal data
- Lock your iPhone with a PIN
- Use care when accessing public Internet hotspots