Physical Security Considerations for Home Computer Users

As someone with more than a little tech savvy, you know that you need to keep your internet-connected devices safe. You understand that the web is filled with threats to your devices and data, and as someone who regularly uses the internet, you happily invest in antivirus solutions for your computer and mobile devices. Security suites from reputable providers offer myriad features to make cybersecurity easier to achieve, which means you can use your devices as expected without much risk of encountering malware or falling victim to fraud.

However, digital security might not be your only concern. Some cyberattacks begin in the physical world, with cybercriminals stealing devices or attaching corrupted drives to unwatched machines. If your computing rig is especially valuable — or if you are often connected to the web in public spaces — you might want to consider how you can increase your device’s physical security to further improve the safety of you, your device and your data.

Access Controls

The best way to ensure that your devices are safe from theft or other types of harm is to prevent other people from accessing them physically. For example, if you keep your computer in a room with no windows and only you have the key to the door, it is extremely unlikely that anyone will be able to steal or do damage to your device. Of course, few people want to store all their internet-connected devices in a small, dark and perpetually locked space.

Fortunately, there are other ways to manage access besides walls and doors. If you have a laptop that you often use in a public space, like libraries or coffee shops, you might consider investing in a laptop lock, which is designed to secure a laptop to a physical space. There are other types of locks designed to provide similar security to desktop computers, which make them more difficult to take from offices or homes.

Digital access controls can also help deter physical crime, so you should be sure to maintain strong PINs and passwords on your devices.

Security Cameras

Cameras provide two outstanding benefits to home security. When placed in prominent positions, they tell criminals that you are doing the utmost to protect your home from invasion, which often deters them from bothering to burglarize your space. And, when cameras are pointed at key assets in your home, they can provide you and authorities with more information about attackers, which might lead to their apprehension and the return of your goods.

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Monitored security camera services can be expensive, so you might consider using smart home security tools to protect your home computer. Of course, these devices also connect to the internet, so you need to be careful to keep their firmware updated and your network adequately secure to thwart further cyberattacks.

GPS Trackers

If you take the above steps, the chances that your devices will be taken will be radically lower. Still, if your devices are exceedingly valuable — or contain valuable or sensitive data that you cannot back up to the cloud or an external hard drive — you may want to be especially certain that you can recover your devices if they are pilfered. To that end, you might attach GPS trackers to your devices.

Many new internet-connected devices are built with GPS tracking tools, which allow you to see where they are in real time using other devices. However, many tech thieves know about these built-in GPS solutions and can disable them efficiently. You can add another form of GPS by hiding an aftermarket tracker onto or inside your device.

Data Backups

Ultimately, the hardware of tech devices can be replaced if stolen, lost or damaged — but the data saved on them tends to be more difficult to reconstruct. You should make an effort to backup your data, ideally to cloud storage, where you will be able to access your stored data easily and often without fear of theft. You can set your device to backup automatically on a regular basis during periods when you do not need significant processing power, which will help your backups stay current.

Cybersecurity is critical in the digital age, but because you and your devices still exist in the physical world, you need some form of physical security to stay completely safe.