How to Keep the Personal Data in Your Laptop Protected

If your personal computer can talk, it can reveal so much information about you that even your family members or closest friends do not know.

Many use their laptops to do various activities, including online shopping, streaming video content and reading breaking news, communicating with acquaintances, and doing their work. If it falls into the wrong hands, you are in for a lot of trouble.

It is necessary to take strict precautions to prevent anyone from taking your device not just because it costs a fortune, but also because it contains sensitive data that can be used against you by malicious individuals and groups. How do you protect your device and, therefore, your information from theft? Here are a few tips.

When Going to the Shop for Repairs

Because your laptop is pretty much an essential part of your life now, and because buying a new one is very expensive, you will have to take the device into the shop for repairs. Be careful of who you leave your laptop with.

Always go to a trusted laptop repair service in your area if you cannot bring it to an authorized company dealer. The people who will handle your device will have access to your data. If possible, do not give them your login information, especially if the damage is in the hardware. They do not need to parse through your files to see if it is working as the manufacturer intended.

If they insist, suggest that they create a guest account so that they would not have access to your files.

You should also back up your files and uninstall software. Delete your browsing history, most importantly your email addresses and passwords. In addition, use a privacy cleaner extension for your internet browsers.

Beware of Thieves

Thieves are on the lookout for expensive items they can steal from you. That includes your laptop.

You should always be mindful of your surroundings and keep your device close to you at all times. If you have to leave your laptop, choose a place that is secure. Lock it in a drawer or cabinet if you are at the office. Carry around a cable lock to secure it to its place.

Do not leave your laptop in your car. Thieves would not hesitate to break your window in order to grab your valuables.

Use Anti-Theft Software

laptop security

In addition, install a software that will be activated once your laptop has been stolen. Something like Retriever will display a banner on the screen that says the device has been stolen or blast an audio calling for help that anyone in the vicinity will be able to hear.

You also should enable a location-finding service so you can track down the device in case you lost it or someone took it. The trade-off is this step poses a privacy risk. You may not be comfortable being tracked. You do not have to do this step if you are not willing to compromise your privacy.

These steps will keep your laptop and, therefore, your data from theft. However, there is no 100% guarantee that you are protected. Your online activities might allow hackers and scammers into your device without your knowledge.

Your best defense is to be aware of common strategies that thieves, both online and in the real world, use to steal from people like you.

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“Right now, computers make our lives easier. They do work for us in fractions of a second that would take us hours. […] As things progress, they’ll be doing more and more for us.”
Steve Jobs
co-founder of Apple Inc. and founder of NeXT
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