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Safe Trip

Put your data on lockdown before hitting the road.

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This story appears in the August 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If you're like most entrepreneurs, travel is a critical component of your business. Laptops, smartphones and other tech gadgets can help you stay connected when you're on the go, but they also represent potential security problems. From lost or stolen laptops to data gleaned by hackers from unsecured internet connections, every entrepreneur needs to be aware of the risks and take steps to protect themselves, their hardware and their data.

"You have to embrace security before you embrace convenience," says Paul Michael Viollis Sr., CEO of security consulting firm Risk Control Strategies. Wireless hot spots may tempt entrepreneurs looking for a quick internet fix, but Viollis advises against jumping onto public hot spots unless you are absolutely prepared to deal with the security issues. "The best and most secure way to communicate while you're traveling is with a highly encrypted laptop kept in your possession at all times. You can connect through the internet, but you should be connecting through a secure VPN tunnel into your secure server," he says. He recommends similar encryption measures for your smartphone.

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