How To Protect The Data On Your Laptop
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It’s likely that your whole life is on your laptop: your financial records, your plans for the future, your entire photo and video library, your company’s sales reports, and so on and so on. What you don’t want is anyone else gaining unauthorized access to it, or more importantly, to all that data.
The good news is that both Windows and macOS make it easy to lock down your laptop and stop unwelcome visitors from getting into your files. The following steps are not difficult, and you should make sure you set aside time for them.
Make sure you have your own user account set up on your laptop, even if you’re the only one who uses itnot only will this keep the kids from messing up your browser bookmarks when they want to play games, it’ll also stop anyone else from accessing it. Even if your laptop gets stolen, if there’s a password-protected user account on it, there’s not much a thief can do beyond resetting it and wiping the data.
Microsoft and Apple know it’s important, so you’ll find it difficult to set up a new laptop without a user account, but avoid sharing accounts with other people or leaving them unprotected. You can manage user accounts from Accounts in Settings in Windows , or from Users & Groups in System Preferences on macOS.
Know the options for signing into your laptop and use them wisely.
Is Antivirus Software Worth It
Todays malicious programs, viruses, and malware are more and more sophisticated. Useful antivirus software helps you to avoid costly fixes and data loss. If you value protection, security, and safety, antivirus software is worth it.
With advanced protective features and company guarantees such as 30-day trials, antivirus software is an investment in your personal protection. Depending on the level of security you desire, there are different software packages with features for everyone.
Encrypt Your Hard Drive
Protecting your laptop with a password is not enough to prevent an attacker from accessing your files. If your laptop is stolen or the attacker has a lot of time, he can remove the hard drive and read the files directly. To prevent this and to protect your data from physical attacks, encrypt your laptops hard drive. Here is how to do this on a macOS and a Windows PC.
If you want to go even further, consider adding a second factor to your disk encryption. Its not something I personally do, but a few friends have had success with it on Linux.
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Backing Up Your Computer
Imagine what would happen if your computer suddenly stopped working. Would you lose any important documents, photos, or other files? It may be possible to repair your computer, but your files may be lost forever. Luckily, you can prevent this by creating backup copies of all of your files on an external hard drive or an online backup service.
External hard drives
You can purchase an external hard drive and copy the contents of your computer to it. The initial backup could take several hours, so you will need to select a period of time when you do not need access to your computer. Running the backup overnight usually works best. Follow-up backups should be conducted on a regular basis, but they should not take as long.
One drawback is that an external hard drive can be lost, damaged, or stolenjust as your computer might be. This is why it’s important to keep your drive in a secure location when not in use.
Online backup services
You can also back up your files to an online backup service like Mozy, Carbonite, or Box. These services will back up your your files in the cloud, which means you’ll be able to recover them from any computer with an Internet connection. The amount of storage provided by these sites varies, and you will probably need to pay a fee for adequate storage space.
One drawback to online backup services is that the initial backup can be slow and may even take days to upload if you have a lot of files. However, subsequent backups should not take as long.
Do Hp Computers Come With Antivirus
HP computers come with Windows Defender Antivirus pre-installed as part of the Microsoft Windows operating system. Its a fine antivirus program that does much of the same things as the third-party antivirus programs.
So yes, your HP laptop or desktop computer already have an antivirus program installed inside the Windows suite.
In many cases, you dont need other antivirus programs for your HP laptop to stay protected. But there are several things you need to remember to stay safe even though you have a trusted antivirus program installed.
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Use Verified Apps Only
We can’t stress this enough. At all cost, avoid downloading and installing apps from unknown sources, always try to download software from their official websites. On Windows 10, whenever possible, only download apps from the Microsoft Store, which have been verified by Microsoft to ensure that they don’t include malicious code, and they work as advertised.
If you want to take malware protection one step further, you can enable a feature on Windows 10 to block users from installing classic desktop programs outside of the Microsoft Store. This option will not only prevent anyone from getting apps from untrusted sources, but it’ll also block potentially harmful programs that try to install automatically without your consent.
Alternatively, you can also use a standard user account instead of an administrator account to prevent installing harmful programs or malicious code from trying to execute code using elevated privileges.
However, if your account is the only administrator account on the computer, you don’t just want to change the account type to standard. First, you want to create a new administrator account, then from the new account, you want to change your original account type to standard.
How To Protect Your Laptop From Damage
Laptops are great resources for students, with studies showing a positive impact on attention and learning if used correctly. Many schools around the country are formally integrating laptop usage into classrooms. Thousands of other students have personal laptops that they use daily for completing their academic responsibilities. Whether educators use these devices to teach elementary students to read or to help high school students prepare for college, there is no doubt that these important resources need constant protection from accidental damage.
Higher Ground is continually impressed by the creative ways teachers and school districts are integrating technology into their curriculum. We love that students are using their laptops in innovative ways to reach new academic horizons. From elementary school through college, these students can discover unlimited knowledge from around the world in the convenience of their home or classroom. Higher Ground strives to not only protect laptops and Chromebooks but also make them more functional, accessible and easier to use anyplace, anytime.
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Five Ways To Protect A New Laptop
Affiliate Disclosure: We receive a commission for purchases made through the links on this page.
So, youve bought yourself a brand-new laptop one that comes with a mostly empty hard drive, neatly wrapped cables, and that fresh box smell. But, how do you keep this pristine system safe when you go online or venture out into the world? We show you the best ways to protect your purchase, with our five top tips.
Bonus Intego Mac Internet Security X9 Best For Macbook Users
Integois my favorite antivirus for MacBooks in 2021. During my tests, Intego detected and removed all of the malware samples from my device, including Mac-specific spyware and ransomware.
Intego also comes with data backup options that are a lot better than Apples built-in backup features. Intego can sync data backup between multiple devices, back up custom folders, and also make a bootable backup that includes your devices latest Mac OS X version so you can easily reboot your files and operating system onto any Mac device.
Intego also includes:
- System cleanup.
- Parental controls.
Integos firewall blocked all network-based attacks in my testing, while also giving me the option to stop third-party apps from potentially sending my sensitive data across the internet. It also analyzed my Wi-Fi network for all possible security issues, and I liked that I could customize both the firewalls controls and how they changed automatically depending on my location something I havent seen any other Mac-based antiviruses provide.
Intego has great parental controls as well, which let users create lists of allowed websites and block access to entire categories, like gambling or adult sites. Integos parental controls also include chat monitoring, which sends you an alert if your kids engage in risky chats.
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Whats Tighter Than Macos Ios
Apple has been developing operating systems since the 80s, plenty of time to make a lot of mistakes. By the time the developers started on iOS, they had learned a ton about what makes for a secure operating system. And release after release, iOS gets still more secure.
So secure, in fact, that its not really possible to create an antivirus to run on iOS. The Malwarebytes report mentioned above notes, On the iOS side, malware exists, but theres no way to scan for it. It goes on to point out that this iOS malware consists mostly of nation-state efforts, not the kind of thing your average user need worry about. Unless youre an average Chinese Uighur.
Last year saw the release of checkm8, a technique that allowed a partial jailbreak of any iPhone, from the iPhone 4s to the iPhone X. Sounds bad, doesnt it? However, implementing checkm8 requires full access to the phone, which must be physically connected to a PC or Mac. It doesnt enable opening a locked phone. And its effect vanishes when the phone reboots. Its a nice tool for researchers, but not an actual threat.
Dont look for a roundup of iOS antivirus productswe dont have one. If all you ever use are iOS devices, you really dont need antivirus. You’ll still want to use an iPhone VPN in some situations, however. Speaking of VPNs…
Do You Really Need Pc Antivirus Software In 2021
The days of PCs being viewed as virus-ridden boxes of dismay are long gone. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t lots of terrible people out there creating malicious programs with the intent to steal something or just create havoc.
Some PC makers will preload antivirus software and try to coerce you into signing up for it because that’s how they make money. But you shouldn’t ever feel pressured, and you likely don’t need whatever it is they’re shilling.
But do you actually need antivirus software in 2020? Yes … but …
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Create Your Save Point
The first thing you should do with a new Windows 10 machine is enable a system restore. Think of it like a save point for your machine. If things go south while you’re trying to set up a safer machine, you get to come back to this nice fresh install and start with a clean slate. Since it’s disabled by default in Windows 10, you’ll need to manually enable it by following these steps:
1. Go to the Windows Cortana search box and type system restore.
2. Select the Control Panel and click Create a restore point.
3. When the System Properties dialog box appears, click the System Protection tab.
4. Select the drive you’ve got Windows installed on. For most people this is going to be the C drive.
5. Click Configure.
6. Click Turn on system protection, then click OK.
From here on out, you can always come back to the System Properties box and click System Restore to bring your machine back to this moment in time.
Fasten Your Laptop With A Kensington Cable
If you share an office or leave your laptop unattended in public places, you can greatly reduce the chance of your laptop being stolen by tying it to the table using a Kensington table. If you use your laptop only in trusted places or never let it out of your sight, then these cables arent necessary.
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Bullguard Premium Protection Best For Gaming Laptops
BullGuard uses virus databases and machine learning to identify and block all kinds of malware, including zero-day threats it caught most of the malware in my testing, but it missed a few adware and spyware files that the others on this list found.
I was impressed with BullGuards Game Booster mode which optimizes device performance for gaming by reallocating CPU power and limiting background processes. I tested this feature while playing Destiny 2, and BullGuard actually increased the frame rate on my gaming laptop.
BullGuard also provides a range of internet security features for both gamers and non-gamers, such as:
- Home network scanner.
- Identity theft protections .
The home network scanner is pretty cool. It ran an in-depth threat scan of all the IoT devices connected to my network, including my printer, baby monitor, and security camera. Fortunately, none of my connected devices contained malware or vulnerabilities that could compromise my home networks security, but it felt great knowing that BullGuard checks all network-connected devices for potential security issues.
I also really like BullGuards identity theft protections, which provide credit monitoring, fraud insurance, and identity theft phone support for people in the US, Canada, and most of the EU. Norton and McAfee offer similar protection, but only for US-based users.
How A Surge Protector Works
When the voltage rises above the acceptable level, the surge protector suppresses the excess voltage to prevent it from causing harm. Specifically, internal components called metal oxide varistors absorb the excess voltage and divert it safely to the ground wire, preventing it from reaching the connected equipment.
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Do I Need To Consider Anything When Buying A Laptop Protection
I am purchasing my first laptop protection. Is there a brand I should consider? Your first laptop protection value is also very helpful! Thank you!
A laptop protection purchase should be carefully considered. Though you’re asking here, you should still do some online research before choosing laptop protections. Your request can be found here in reasonably detailed form.
Require A Password When Logging In
The most important step for securing your laptop and preventing other people from accessing your files without permission is to require a login password. Make sure to create a password that is difficult to guess, so dont use your birthday, your cats name, or the name of a loved one. Here is how to automatically .
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Freshman Orientation For Your Software
Now that you’ve done some bloatware pest control, you’ll want to secure your other software and drivers by making sure they’re up to date. Doing this can eliminate the risk of infection by entire classes and families of viruses and malware. The easiest way to do this is by downloading the Windows Update Assistant and following its prompts.
If you have any trouble with the automated process, there’s a manual option:
1. Go to Start, then to Settings.
2. Select Update & Security, then select Windows Update.
Make sure all of your Windows 10 software is up to date to avoid security mishaps.
Install A Password Manager
Now that youve secured your operating system and your applications, give your credentials the same treatment. We recommend password managers to everyone as they make it incredibly easy to have unique, robust passwords for all of your applications and web services without needing to remember them. Some password managers work nicely within a browser extension, others tend to run as a vault program on your machine outside of the browser. Many password managers do both.
Ultimately your preference for whether a password manager should be cloud-based local only will dictate what kind of manager youll end up using, if you havent chosen one yet. Weve written up several pieces on password managers if you need help deciding, but if you already use one, take this moment in your laptop set up process to remember to get yours up and running.
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Mcafee Total Protection Best For Web Protections
McAfee Total Protection has one of the fastest and most comprehensive antivirus scanners around it detected all of my malware samples during a single full system scan without slowing down my system. McAfees real-time anti-malware engine is also very effective, blocking all of the malware files and malicious scripts that I tried to launch including spyware, ransomware, rootkits, and trojans.
I also think McAfee has the best web protections around. I was impressed with McAfees anti-phishing protection, which during testing caught more fake websites than Chromes or Safaris built-in phishing protection tools did. Also, McAfees VPN was surprisingly fast, barely slowing down my internet connection while encrypting my web traffic and hiding my IP address.
McAfee Total Protection also has additional features like:
- Wi-Fi network scanner.
- Device encryption.
I really like McAfees web performance optimization tools that stop videos from auto-playing on websites this minimized my bandwidth usage and significantly sped up my browsing time.
And I also like McAfees device encryption, which encrypted my hard disk with unbreakable 256-bit AES encryption keeping my data safe even if someone stole my laptop and tried to access my information.