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5 Ways To Reduce Data Exposure When A Business Device Is Lost Or Stolen

By Chris Boudreau | July 4, 2022

In our present world, losing a device can hamper online security. This also applies to business devices. The loss of a business device, be it a laptop/desktop or phone, can significantly damage the business. 

Business devices contain essential information about organizational activities. It can leave the management team in a state of panic when it gets missing or stolen. In some cases, the missing devices can get into the hands of a petty thief looking to make a couple of dollars. Other times, a skilled cybercriminal will take custody of it. Whatever be the case, the resultant effect causes some form of loss for the organization. 

The University of Pittsburgh, stated that there are increased chances for portable devices such as floppy disks, phones, laptops, USB cords, and so on to get stolen or lost. The university also stated that 1 in 10 laptops get stolen. According to the source, 98% of the stolen laptops were gone for good.

When a business device goes missing, it is not inappropriate to express fear or uncertainty. However, there are a few steps that can help minimize data exposure. In this article, we’ve put together some of the steps you can take to help your business minimize data exposure when business devices are missing.

Let’s discuss them.

What To Do If Your Business Device Is Lost Or Stolen

As soon as your business device is lost or stolen, these five ways will help to reduce data exposure. 

Report The Loss To the IT/ HR Department

When a business device is lost or stolen, it should be reported to the company’s IT department immediately. If the IT department cannot proffer solutions to the problem, the managed IT service provider must also be aware. 

This will help to take immediate actions such as either wiping off the data on the business device or employing encryption. The company or the provider can also track the business device using specific software reserved for the purpose. 

In some situations, the serial numbers of the business device are required to make tracking the machine easier.

The business device may not only contain company information but personal data too. For this reason, employees must ensure they report the matter to the HR department. 

Sometimes, hackers may use an employee’s personal information to defraud unsuspecting individuals. This can include sending phishing emails or texts from the employee’s phone to work colleagues or other contacts.

Modify Your Security Settings

Many scammers can get information about you by collecting details from your browser’s history and emails. In this way, they may get a hold of stored credit cards and other sensitive information. 

In cases where the two-factor authentication has not been activated, it is necessary to enable it to frustrate the activities of the people who want to lay their hands on sensitive data. The only way to stop these scammers in their tracks is to modify your security settings. This is possible by changing your password to a stronger one. 

If financial transactions are carried on using the device, an excellent way to minimize data exposure is to change the passwords for your accounts. This will help to reduce the chances of data loss. 

Disable Autofill Option

Many organizations use the internet for browsing purposes. Sometimes, employees are less-informed about the dangers of using the autofill options on the browser. If there are instances that the autofill option is enabled on the business device, anyone that lays hands on the business device will gain entry into a private account. 

Employees can turn off the autofill option on the business device to reduce data exposure by using another’s device. The following steps are necessary to turn off the autofill options in the chrome browser:

  • Go to the settings in chrome
  • Log in the password
  • Turn off the autofill switch

Inform Your Contacts

Cybercriminals use phishing and smishing to defraud the individuals found on a device’s contact list. All contacts saved on the business device must be aware that the device is lost or stolen. This will put them on alert to avoid links in emails and SMS that appear to be from you.

Deauthorize The Business Device

When your business devices are lost or stolen, you can keep a stranger from accessing accounts the device may be signed into. Just deauthorize the device. Removing devices logged in to Apple, Google, and even an Amazon account is easy. 

Employees can use a temporary account to sign in and turn off the auto-sync features linked to the missing or stolen business devices and remove that device from the approved list.

Need Help With Reducing Data Exposure On Lost Or Stolen Business Devices?

Losing business devices is a position many organizations want to avoid. However, even the most detailed employee can still lose a work phone or laptop. Businesses can stay protected with pertinent information by securing business devices even when missing or stolen. 

Contact us at 519-672-0900 or reach us online to learn more.

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