Tips for a more secure laptop

Image: Heinrich Böll Stiftung

Image: Heinrich Böll Stiftung

When you’ve got work to do on the go, nothing beats a laptop. Are you keeping yours safe? Proper care for your laptop is much more involved than just storing it in a padded case. Try these tips to boost your laptop security and keep your identity safe.

Treat It Like Cash– Would you leave a $100 bill on the table of your local coffee shop while you run to the counter for your order? Then don’t leave your laptop. OnGuardOnline recommends treating your laptop like cash. This will help keep your laptop out of the wrong hands.

Give It a Password– If your laptop doesn’t have a password, set one up today. A password is a great first line defense against prying eyes. Make sure you store your password in your mind, not on a paper inside of your laptop case. The same rule applies for passwords to bank accounts, email, and other sensitive websites.

Ditch the Laptop Case– A laptop doesn’t have to live in a laptop case. Storing it in other, more discreet cases may be a bit safer. Consider stowing your laptop in a small padded cover inside of a backpack instead of the traditional case.

Alarm It– If you use a laptop often, you may want to invest in a laptop alarm or lock. These can help you keep an eye on your laptop even when you have to momentarily look away.

Pay Attention– If your laptop is out, pay attention. Be aware of your surroundings. Thieves don’t have to physically take your laptop to capitalize on your information. Looking over your shoulder can yield usernames, passwords, account numbers, and more if you’re not watching.

Use Anti-Virus Software– Don’t connect to the internet without up to date anti-virus software. Since laptops aren’t always turned on (like a home computer) they can easily get behind in their updates. It’s a good idea to pull out your laptop and manually update software before a big trip out of town or some other occasion where you will be frequently connecting to public wi-fi.

Be Careful with Wi-Fi– It’s always safer to avoid entering personal information over a public Wi-Fi network. If you’re using your laptop out and about, you’ll need to have a plan to use Wi-Fi safely. These tips from Microsoft may help you as you create your plan.

Turn Off Your Wi-Fi Connection When Not In Use– Turn off your Wi-Fi connection when you aren’t using the Internet.

Now that you’ve got some tips, try your hand at this fun laptop security game from the FTC and see how you do.
 
 
allclearIDGuest blogger: Jackie, from AllClearID. TDS’ Identity Protection for both adults and children is powered by AllClearID.

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