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Lock your Devices!

Laptops, tablets, and smartphones can be passcode protected (locked electronically) to secure your information and to act as a theft deterrent.

If you lose your portable device (or it is stolen), you would feel really terrible, but not as terrible as you’d feel if the person who found/stole it had access to all of your information.

Lock your device.

If you travel with a portable device and, for example, a hotel housekeeper thinks about lifting it, he/she might first turn it on to see if it is passcode protected. If it is, it is much less desirable and perhaps not worth stealing at all.

Lock your device — despite a few downsides:

  1. You have to unlock it every time you use it. This can be annoying at first, but will become routine quickly.
  2. No one else can use your device. Share your passcode with those you choose.
  3. You have to remember the passcode. There is no easy way to be reminded of it or to reset it.

Lock your device … anyway.

(Note: Smartphones allow you to answer an incoming call and call “911” without unlocking. Newer smartphones also allow you to take a picture without unlocking).

To lock your device:

  • Locate the area that controls the passcode lock features. (It is different in each device but tap “Settings” and look for “General” or “Security.”)
  • Enter a passcode. (It’s usually a 4-digit number; you might have to enter it twice.)
  • Set the amount of time that you want the inactive device to wait before the lock engages (sometimes called “Autolock”)
  • Turn off your device.
  • Turn it back on to verify that you need to enter your passcode before you can access your information.

If you think the benefits outweigh the downsides, passcode-protect your portable devices … and store your passcode reminder anywhere but in the device itself!