Tips and Tricks to Keep your Laptop Secure and Safe

by: Salem Hassan


The sure to way to make your laptop secure is to never use them, never bring them with you, never open them nor install software on your laptop. Just locked them down in a fireproof safe place and they will be protected and out of harm's way forever. However, laptops were made for us to use, to help us more productive in our work and make our lives easy.

Keeping your laptop secure and protected is of course is still possible with some efforts on your part and with the use of existing security tools and software, learn and do good practices and most of the time using common sense.

From basics to the extreme, these are the tips and trick that will keep your laptop secure and safe.

Install Antivirus. Keep it up to date, regularly scan your computer and let it check your email. Without it, your laptop will surely get infected.

Install Anti-Spyware. Some Antivirus have bundled anti-spyware. Use them along with the antivirus and always get them updated. Regularly schedule scanning of laptop for spywares, Trojans, adware and other malwares to make them secure.

Keep Your System Updated. Let Windows constantly apply updates and patch security holes in your system. However, it is a good practice to always create a System Restore Point and backup your important files prior to applying updates on your system. You can use them to undo changes if problems occur or in case of update failure.

Set a System Password. Most computers have a built in CMOS setup password in its BIOS. This require that a password by typed in before it will boot the Operating System. It will prohibit any access to the computer at all. This is definitely not a password that you want to forget!

Password Protect Your Windows User Account. Windows user accounts can be assigned a password. This means that for a user to log on using an account, she must know the password.

Use Strong Password. A strong password mixes numbers, letters and specials characters. There are also websites available online that you can use to generate strong password or an online password checker.

Keep Your Firewall Turned On. A firewall helps protect your computer from hackers who might try to steal information, crash your computer or use it to attack other computers. Even if you know that your company is using corporate firewall to protect the computer inside their network, it is a good practice to always make sure that Windows firewall or third-party firewall is turned on specially when you are working on the road.

Beware of Pop-up Security Fakes. There will be occasions wherein while surfing or browsing some websites, you will be presented with a security warning that you computer could be infected with a virus or malware. This fake security software will entice you to scan or disinfect your computer by offering you a handy product to do the job for you. Beware of this – it could be rouge security software.

Encrypt Sensitive Data. Consider data encryption if you have sensitive information on your computer. Encryption will protect your business secrets.

Back Up Important Data. You don’t have to back up everything on the laptop. Just copy the important files you will need to the server. This will ensure that you will have something to look for when your laptop gets stolen on your trip. You just need to download your important files from the server to get the information you need.

Kid’s Computing. If you let your children use your laptop occasionally, always make sure that you keep an eye on them. Even if you are extra careful when using your laptop, this could be put at risk by a simple click of your kids especially when you let them browse or surf the internet. You can use parental-control software to prevent internet or computer use during off hours. Vista user accounts have this feature built-in.

Consider Insuring Your Laptop. If you laptop is expensive, it’s worth considering getting your laptop insured. Look for insurance providers such as Safeware that offers this type of service

Physical Security

Don’t be too obvious that you have them. Some fashionable people carry their laptops in expensive cases and this spell trouble for them. Those cases are hot in the prying eyes of thieves. There are available backpacks that are not too obvious that you are carrying a laptop with you and they’re also slash-proof and shock-proof as well.

Bio-metrics. The future of passwords is in your bio-metrics. The most common nowadays is fingerprints, retinas and even the shape of your face.

Lock the Laptop. Most notebook computers have a Kensington Security Slot which is a hole for attaching a lock. That was made for the purpose of securing your laptop – use it.

Track Your Laptop Anywhere. If a PC or notebook is stolen, you can make use of this technology to track down your laptop. It’s not just for car, it’s also available for laptop. There are open source software that is available for free and also proprietary software to choose from.