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Data Abduction: 10 tips to protect your home and workspace

Date posted:  6/30/17 11:45:00 AM Take steps in advance to help ensure your professional and personal data doesn't become abducted.

World UFO Day is July 2, and while meeting extraterrestrials is probably not in your vacation plans, with the 4th of July holiday and Labor Day weekend on its way, you're probably thinking about a well-earned vacation. Maybe it's a trip abroad, to somewhere on one of the U.S. coasts or even a staycation where you can sleep in and catch up on some projects at home. Regardless of where you're headed, you’ll want to take a few steps in advance to help ensure your professional and personal data doesn't become abducted.

When you're going to be out of the office, ensure you do the following:

  • Lock up sensitive material in cabinets and drawers (as you should do when you leave each day), and take your key with you.
  • Make sure you have logged off and restart your machine before heading home.
  • If you're not taking your laptop home, make sure it's powered off and properly locked with a secure cable.
  • Be general with your out of office reply and voice mail for responses outside the company. Let them know that you'll be unavailable and the duration of time. Internally, you can be more descriptive as needed.

In addition, while you're traveling away from home, you'll want to prepare the following:

  • Create an illusion that someone is at home when you are away. This is one of the top tips for home security. Leaving on a stereo, setting outside lighting on timers or using motion detectors are some easy steps to help achieve this.
  • Have a neighbor or friend you trust put out your garbage can on trash day and move it back towards your house.
  • Make sure your children keep your travel plans a secret, especially to kids they don’t know at school and in public.
  • If you have a trusted relationship with your neighbors, consider notifying them and even the police or your neighborhood watch before you leave.
  • Change your garage entry code and lock the internal door from your garage to your house and manually lock your garage door switch, if available.
  • Contact your banking and credit card providers before you leave and provide your vacation destination and timeframe.
  • While you're away, unplug from the real world by not posting on social media or using unsecured wi-fi.

Following these simple steps will help keep you more secure while you're away. In addition, it can help keep your place of work safe from unexpected data compromises.

This message was brought to you by UMB Corporate Security and the Security Awareness Program. For more security news, resources and education, visit umb.com/security.