How safe is your information on public transport?

Last week I was sat on a train to London, on my way to the Best Practice Showcase 2012 which was held at the QE2 Exhibition Centre in the City of Westminster.

One thing that amazed me when travelling on public transport is how slack people are with information security. Here are some examples that occured throughout my train journey:

  1. A young lady was sat next to me using her laptop, working away on some documents (probably of some confidential nature), yet I could clearly read what was on her screen.
  2. A lady who sat in front of me was proof reading some contracts, and I could clearly see the wording on them.
  3. A guy was messing around with his iPad, skimming through documents and images, showing his colleague his new toy.
  4. Several people were talking very loudly on their mobile phones where is it very easy for people to hear what they were talking about. I for one could understand the context of what they were talking about in their conversations. It’s not like any of us on the train had much choice other than to listen anyway!

Information security professionals and senior executives would have heart failure if half of them knew what was going on on that train, and the threat posed to their information.

But is this train journey typical of others that occur daily, I hear you say? The answer I give is yes. On every train journey into and out of London I have ever been on there are always several people risking the security of their organisations information.

But what can we do to mitigate these risks? The answer is simple, employ basic information security controls, staff training, visual security products for laptops and tablets, it’s not brain science.

Take a look for example at the 3M Gold Desktop and Laptop Privacy Filters. These are simple filters that fit over your laptops or PCs, blocking the contents of your screen from those around you. The micro-louvre black-out privacy technology used in the filters prevents anyone viewing your screen from either side whilst allowing you to continue to view your screen with ease.

A simple step to protecting your information can go a long way in terms of keeping your confidential data, confidential!