Hundreds of thousands of laptops are lost or stolen each year. What if it unfortunately happens to you? Think of all the relevant information stored in your laptop and the chaos that would come into your life if it becomes lost or stolen.
All the pictures you downloaded from your camera and never had time to mount and print. More importantly, your personal information, your credit card and bank statements you shudder to think. Security of laptops should be of high priority to the owners. Not only protection against physical loss, but by internal infestation of spyware, viruses, hackers and spammers. Your safety must be maintained and updated. Better to control. Treat your laptop as you would do for your wallet, your purse, your fine jewelry. Protect your child. Here are some important steps to protect your laptop.
Make sure your OS (Operating System) is secure. Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows 2000 Pro and XP Pro are secure operating systems. Windows 95/98/ME are not; anyone could access your data.
Password protect your data:
Send your registration manufacturers. If your laptop is stolen is never sent in the maintenance or repair, it can be traced through registration.
Turn on your popup blocker. On the Internet, go to Tools / Internet Options /. Click the Privacy tab and check the box that says Block pop-ups.
Install anti-spyware and antivirus software, and maintain it.
Check for Windows updates and take the time to install. A few minutes is all it takes. Its so easy to click “remind me later”, but even if you must restart your computer, its time well spent.
Measures of security to protect your laptop computer:
Carry your laptop in a discreet bag. If a fancy designer seems to have “steal me” written on it.
Never leave it unattended, even for a minute.
Store in a locked drawer when not in use.
Label it. Use ID tags in plain view that it would be difficult for a thief to remove. Engrave your name on the cover.
The security inside – Protect your data:
Set BIOS password. This is the first thing that pops up when the machine is on. Most computers will not start if the attempted password fails on three occasions.
Set Login Password. Most systems require a password to connect. If the password is entered incorrectly, the system will reject the user. Password protection is not 100% safe, but it certainly presents a difficult challenge for a robber.
Sensors: There are very sophisticated sensors that can be purchased for additional protection, such as a fingerprint sensor or a motion sensor. Your password could be a model of sequential movements of your head side to side, up or down. There are also sensors that alarm sounds if anyone touches your laptop when you are out of reach. In addition, there are fingerprint sensors, retina sensor, or even the characteristics of your strikes can be recorded for authentication. The sensors are fairly new and not yet a standard feature on regular laptops.
Tracking Devices: You can now buy software that allows your laptop to “check in” to a monitoring center using a signal. Central tracking service works with the police and Internet service providers to locate and recover stolen laptops.
Personal Firewall: Install this extra layer of protection not only to prevent intruders from hacking into your system, but also prevent your information from escaping.
NTFS: If you have Windows 7 / Windows Vista / Windows NT / 2000 / XP, use the NTFS filing system. NTFS stands for NT-filing system.
Disable the Guest account, or at least give it a very complex and difficult to guess the password.
Rename the Administrator account. Do not use the word admin in the name. A different name will make it more difficult for hackers to open the door. You can also create a “shadow account director.” Assign a password complex, too difficult to guess, and limit all privileges. Then enable “logs” so that you can tell if access has been attempted.
Disable the “Last Logged-username”. This will prevent hackers from password guessing. You can find instructions for doing so on the installation CD for your laptop.
Encrypt your files. Use EFS (Encrypting filing system). When a file is encrypted, any file stored in this file is also encrypted. Encryption is a lot to do and it can also slow the performance speed of your laptop, you can choose to encrypt only the most Sensitive files on your laptop.
Disable the infrared port. The port is for data transmission and is not always the method chosen by most users. But did you know that someone sitting in the room you could actually browse your files via infrared without even knowing it? You can disable the port in the BIOS, or simply cover it with a piece of black electrical tape.
Back up your data before you travel. If any unfortunate circumstance happens, your data can be recovered by you. You can store all your data on a disk (encrypted and password protected, of course) and travel with an “empty” laptop. Remember to keep records on you and not in your bag for laptop! And give attention to metal detectors in airports. Otherwise, you can send your records and retrieve them when you arrive at your destination.
External Security for Notebook:
Cable lock. You never know when it becomes necessary to leave your laptop unattended, if even for a minute or two. Get a cable lock and use it. Make sure it attaches to something very solid and unwavering.
Docking station to your office, many people do not know can pass through. You never know who might want your laptop abroad. A docking station can be permanently attached to your desktop and the laptop it locks up. If you can not have a docking station, make a habit of blocking it in a drawer when not in use or when you must leave the workstation. You would not leave your wallet on your desk when you leave,do you?
Airports are a prime location for thieves to snatch your property in seconds. Obviously, never leave them unattended. Carry-on, never check your laptop. There is risk it getting lost in the baggage system at the airport. How can you secure your data while traveling? A particular company, Absolute Software, a company based in Canada, has developed software that can trace a lost or stolen laptop, and even delete the data with a remote device. Another company in Colorado, Otter Products, makes the case that sustainable transportation is dimensionally stable, water resistant, drop-resistant and locked for travel.
In summary, one could almost turn your laptop into a mini Fort Knox, if you enjoyed all the options of security available. But we hope this article has instilled paranoia you enough to entice you to take precautions to ensure the safety of your laptop and your privacy! Careful measures of security simple on a regular basis will become as common as putting your seat belt as a safety measure when you ride in the car. If the measures of security are in place, you can relax and make your day without worry.
As any as responsible company, Microsoft has a small guide on Laptop’s Security. You can read it here.
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