Computer Security at Trade Shows and Events

Tips for computer safety

Hacking screenshotAs a technology professional I receive news and updates on the latest threats to computer security. The latest news about a malware strain that can slink by 24 or more antivirus programs is both amazing and frustrating. It would seem the need for digital security professions isn’t going away any time soon.

While your IT person may be highly capable it can be very difficult to protect company computers off-site while at the same time accommodating the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) mentality of the people he/she supports. As a helpful gesture to your IT person, I’ve compiled some basic security practices you can use at your trade shows and off-site marketing events.

  1. Ensure that your computer and other devices are fully patched and have the latest virus and malware definitions before arriving at your venue.
  2. Ensure that your computer has a recent backup.
  3. DO NOT pick up that flash drive you found in the parking lot and plug it into your laptop. It’s a trap! Destroy it away or give it to your IT person. However, if a vendor hands you a logo-encrusted one from behind their table, then the trust factor is high. So go ahead—free flash drive!
  4. Only connect to the venue-authorized Wi-Fi or LAN, or better yet use your own 4G network.
  5. Disable Bluetooth on your computer and devices.
  6. Are there black hats and script-kiddies sniffing packets at your trade show? Probably. Encrypt your connection! Put an “s” in that “http” when you can. For example, https://intranet.company.com is more secure than http://intranet.company.com.
  7. If you need to leave your booth and computer be sure to lock the screen or logout.
  8. For the super paranoid: Periodically check for unfamiliar USB dongles or devices on your PC, especially if you keep it under your table.

These tips are meant for end-users, that is, company staff outside of an IT department. There are many more items your IT person could do to make your computer more secure but they go beyond the scope of this article.

Security is important! If you’re interested in the advanced security practices your IT department should use, then feel free to call or email John at Banner Creations, Inc.

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