Are you making security for your laptop the priority it should be? For business travelers, students, and small business owners. Laptops are the primary means by which to stay organized and interconnected.
Theft, loss of your laptop, and cyber threats that come quietly, like ever growing viruses, spyware, botnets and network snooping come to steal your confidential information; which can prove devastating.
Laptop security isn’t just about keeping your device safe from loss. But keeping your sensitive financial reports, personal records, business data, passwords, credit card and banking information away from prying eyes.
In 2015, worldwide enterprises spent a total of $4.5 billion on security software and encryption, according to IDC. As cyber threats grow, laptops with integrated hardware security features will prove to be just the protection your personal information needs.
But how do you know which laptop security features to get? Breathe easier when you safeguard your device with these 10 anti-theft tools.
Laptop Security Features
Pre-Boot Authentication (PBA)
Some business-class laptops let users configure password protection in the system’s BIOS setup.
After your laptop powers on. PBA prevents the system from going through the operating system boot-up process. Until you provide the correct username and password.
How does this keep you secure?
The password-protection feature that appears after Windows has loaded the OS. Is easily bypassed by anyone trying to break into your laptop. All you need is a Windows emergency disk. The same is true for Linux systems. All you need there is a Linux Live CD.
PBA protects against attacks that take advantage of a system’s ability to boot from a device that’s not its primary storage drive.
Check out AlertBoot.com for more information about PBAs. (Should you use their service, Gigabyte Kingdom has no affiliation with this company.)
Hard Drive Password Protection
Another way hackers can steal your information by bypassing authentication is by removing an unprotected hard drive from a secure laptop. And popping it into an unsecure laptop.
Hard drive password protection prevents your information from being stolen. It stores the password inside the hard drive itself. This way it can’t be read. Only authenticated against. Some business class laptops include this feature.
Self-Encrypting Drives (SEDs)
Some business class laptops also come with this feature. Look for the ones that encrypt data with either a 128-bit or 256-bit key.
Should you find your laptop lost or stolen. Encryption is one of the laptop security features that will protect your stored data.
SEDs perform so much like any hard drive that you hardly know it’s there. With just a password you can encrypt/decrypt the media encryption key. Keeping would be attackers from your sensitive information.
Learn more about this from ComputerWeekly.com.
Secure Data Removal
BIOS-level data destruction tools are laptop security features that some business laptops come with. This feature helps you dispose of. Or re-deploy your laptop without accidentally exposing information on its hard drive or SSD.
Read this article for how to securely erase your SSD for Windows, Mac, and Linux systems.
When HP unveiled its EliteBook line of enterprise laptops in September 2013. The company called the technology SureStart.
Ballyhooed as a ‘forward-thinking new security feature’. HP described it as the industry’s “first self-healing technology that automatically restores a system’s BIOS to its previously safe state if attacked or corrupted.”
It’s one of the laptop security features that provide real-time threat disruption. And self-healing. By storing a proprietary BIOS that’s only accessed by the creator.
Here’s Jeff Jeansonne to explain more about HP’s SureStart technology.
Trusted Platform Module (TPM)
It’s a laptop security feature that provide hardware-based security. It can also be used to keep your laptop running smoothly.
A TPM is a microchip that either comes with your laptop. Or can be attached to the motherboard after purchase. By using a combination of software and hardware. It protects any important password. Or encryption keys. When they are not transmitted in an encrypted form.
Here’s more information about TPM from Techtarget.com.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
This is one of the laptop security features developed to allow remote users. And branch offices to securely access corporate resources. It works by creating a safe and encrypted connection over a less secure network; like the internet.
VPNs are essentially private, secure tunnels. A VPN user must have a password, tokens, or other unique identification methods to gain access.
If you’re looking for laptop security features that take a more physical approach to protection. Use a Lock Slot to literally chain your laptop to an immovable object. Almost every laptop on the market is equipped with one.
Two scenarios that show off this security feature’s usefulness are:
- If you’re storing your laptop in a place where people have regular access to it.
- If you work in an area of high foot traffic and you often need to walk away from your laptop.
Cable Lock for Laptops
And if you’re going to take the physical approach to securing your laptop. You’ll need a Cable Lock.
These work just like a bicycle chain lock. Once you’ve found a sturdy object to secure your laptop to. All you do is wrap the Cable Lock around it. Then insert the lock into your laptop’s lock slot.
Check out the Kensington Combination Cable Lock on Amazon.
Looking for low-tech laptop security features?
Encryption technology is great for keeping your private work private. But what’s to stop a visual hacker from simply peering over your shoulder at a coffee shop or during a plane ride?
A laptop privacy screen is privacy filter that adheres to your laptop’s display to restrict the viewing angle. Only someone sitting directly in front of the screen can see what’s on it.
Losing your laptop worth several hundred. Or a few thousand dollars. May not seem as troublesom as the loss of business-critical data worth thousands and hundreds of thousands. But how much is your personal info worth to you?
Are there any laptop security features that you think are important that we didn’t mention? Please let us know in the comment section below.