10 Simple Steps for Keeping Your Laptop Secure
Your laptop is a prized asset both in the cost of investment and the data it contains. Keeping it secure is paramount because its loss or damage and that of its information can be devastating. To help you secure your laptop, herein are ten tips to protect your data, privacy, and laptop’s physical condition.
Ten Strategies for Laptop Security
1. Set a password for login.
Ensure no one can use your laptop or access your files without your permission by setting up a login password. Even if the laptop is away from your attention at the office or school, no one can peruse your items, keeping your data safe. It is prudent to use a complex password that no one can guess, so avoid using pet names, birth dates, or names of loved ones. More importantly, do not use the word password.
A good password will need to have different cases, more than twelve characters, and at least a mix of the characters to include numbers, letters, and special symbols.
2. Use a password-protected screensaver.
Sometimes you may have to rush for an errand quickly, leaving your laptop on for a few minutes. You probably also have set your laptop to sleep after a couple of minutes. Such a situation means one may not need a login password to access your files. Fortunately, all you need is a password-protected screensaver. The screen saver appears for any moment the laptop is not used for a few seconds preventing unauthorized access. You set it to come on automatically, and only with the correct password it will exit the screen.
3. Use updated software.
One way to keep your laptop safe from malware and other hack attempts is to keep your system updated along with the various apps you use. For your system, turn on auto-updates so that you do not run the risk of forgetting when to update it. You can do the same to the apps you frequently use. Most browsers automatically update themselves and their services.
Be careful to only get your updates from trusted sources and not download anything you receive a prompt online. New updates contain enhanced security features which keep your laptop safe. Updates come having fixed bugs and potential vulnerabilities, so it takes time before hackers find a workaround. By then, there is already another update.
4. Encrypt your hard drive
Your login password will protect you from people who cannot remove your hard disk. However, if your laptop is stolen or someone gets enough time to remove your hard disk, they can still access your files. You can protect your hard drive content by encrypting it. To access the information inside, one would need to have a decryption key. Otherwise, the hard drive and its content are obsolete. Should you have sensitive information, you can also use two-factor authentication.
5. Add an antivirus.
Antivirus software protects your computer from malware attacks which can be used to steal your data or corrupt your files. Viruses can come from anywhere, including peripheral devices or shared files with infected computers.
The malware could be used to fish your information or destroy it, sabotaging your work. Having a reliable antivirus protects your computer and data and enhances the existing security you get from the operating system and browser. It protects you when using shared networks, browsing sites online, and getting files or connecting to other devices.
6. Have a backup of your data
You can further protect your data from getting lost in case of attacks, accidents that damage your drive, or even laptop theft. You do this by backing up the data either locally or through cloud services. Make sure the data is safe by encrypting it. In the case of cloud backup, you can use applications that encrypt it before sending the data to the cloud.
The best way to back up your data is to set it to automatically backup itself to whichever resource you are using. Doing this prevents any risk of having it lost before you get around to doing the manual backup.
7. Use a privacy screen.
A privacy screen protects you from shoulder surfing attacks which are increasingly common than you may think. By seeing your screen from a position next to you, someone can know what you are working on, your private information, and your passwords.
Even if the person next to you at a coffee shop, seminar, or office is not malicious, you still want to carry your activities in privacy. A privacy screen offers by decreasing the viewing angles to your laptop screen, thus preventing people next to you from seeing details on your screen.
8. Get a webcam cover
You can further protect your privacy by ensuring the webcam on your laptop is not used to spy on you. Hackers even disable the LED light next to it, preventing you from telling if the camera is on. The only sure way to protect yourself is getting a physical cover on the webcam that you can easily remove when you want to use it.
9. Get a VPN
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) allows you to cover your tracks when using the internet. Your internet provider can track your browser history, and when you are on public Wi-Fi, the other people on it can also view your internet activity. A VPN encrypts the traffic between you and the VPN server, offering you privacy. Before choosing a VPN service, make sure it has a reputable record for its privacy policies.
10. Prevent physical damage by use of a cover.
You can further add to the physical security of your laptop by using a laptop cover. It will prevent it from getting damaged or scratching when it falls or gets bumped. When carrying your laptop, you should also use a hard case or a bag with cushioning to protect the laptop from damage.
These simple steps are fundamental to your privacy, data protection, and physically guarding your laptop against damage. Depending on your circumstances, you can add further measures like insurance and even setting up location finding. Do not let your laptop stay insecure, as the damage could be irreversible.
We hope this blog has provided you with the information you need when it comes to securing your laptop.
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