Your laptop is your livelihood. It harnesses all of your most personal data. If the contents of your laptop get into the wrong hands, it could be big trouble, maybe even identity theft. That’s why it’s imperative to protect your machine in any way that you can. These 10 easy precautionary measures will help keep your laptop safe and secure.
Turn Off File Sharing
If you’re using unfamiliar networks, you don’t have the same guarantee of privacy for the files on your computer unless you turn file sharing off. With file sharing on, you may not even be aware that someone else on the network you’re connected to is snooping through your computer’s hard drive.
Avoid Accessing Sensitive Informative While Connected to an Unknown Network
When possible you should refrain from viewing or entering private data while using unfamiliar networks. The network administrator or others may have access to view your online activity. No matter who it is, you don’t want them to be able to view things such as your online banking log in, social media and email passwords, or any other personal data.
Use Password Protection
Make sure that your laptop is set up with a password so that every time you turn it on or wake it up, you need to enter a pin or password. Choose your password carefully, and come up with something that would be very difficult to guess.
Take Precautions Against Ways Around Your Password
Disabling the ability to boot windows from your CD drive or USB port will prevent anyone from bypassing your password and taking over your machine. You can do this through the BIOS (basic input/output system) menu, which can be accessed by tapping F10 during system boot up on Windows. You can also set a password on access to BIOS to prevent anyone else from being able to change your settings.
Use HTTPS and SSL Whenever You Can
Have you ever noticed the ‘S’ at the end of the http address on certain sites? That stands for “secure,” so try typing the ‘S’ manually and reloading the page if it’s not already present.
Switch Off Wi-Fi When You’re Not Using it
If you don’t need to be connected, it’s safer not to be. When you’re machine is offline, no one can access it remotely, so you’re files and information will be safe from prying eyes.
Use a Firewall
You should leave your firewall on at all times if possible. You should be sure the router you’re using has a good firewall as well.
Encrypt Your Hard Drive
Hard drive encryption is a very effective way to protect your files. Programs like TrueCrypt will do it automatically.
Use Anti-Virus Software
Get an up to date and reputable anti-virus software system on your computer to detect and eliminate any threats before they materialize into a major issue.
Use a Virtual Private Network
VPN’s are an excellent way of protecting sensitive data by encrypting it before sending it out. There are various programs you can download that will automatically encrypt everything you send out once they are activated on your machine.