OK, so you are looking for a new laptop but you are mindful of security. You are wise to keep this in mind. Without sounding paranoid, there are dangers everywhere. This is the computer paradox: a major contributor to your laptop’s functionality is access to the internet, at the same time, it is also the source of your greatest security risk.
Even the giant of ‘sharing’ Mark Zuckerberg, is cautious when it comes to laptop security and unwanted access. His laptop was seen with sticky tape over the inbuilt webcam. Paranoid or good sense? Actually, covering your webcam seems to be the modern trend.
The irony of this shows that good security starts with the user. So if you want a secure laptop you need to make the right choices. Here are some ideas to help you along the way.
1. Camera Security
Of course, you can tape up the camera on your laptop but that may not be the most practical solution if you plan to use the camera regularly. Here are some ideas. Consider buying a laptop that has a cover for the webcam. An example is the HP Elitebooks that have an inbuilt cover. Easy and practical.
An alternative is to buy a webcam cover. The are many choices out there and offer a simple and practical solution. However, if you are looking for a real innovation check out the Huawei Matebook X Pro. This has an inbuilt webcam nestled under a pop-up key on the keyboard.
This idea serves 2 purposes. The first is that the surrounding edge of the screen is so thin it is too small to house a camera unit. The second is that the camera is truly private when not in use.
2. Think Biometrics
Not so long ago, if you mentioned biometrics on your laptop you might have been talking about something from a mission impossible movie. These days it is far more commonplace. The key here is not overlooking how effective biometric security can be.
Someone may be able to rip off your password remotely but they can never be you and your fingerprint. This principle of physicality is what drives the extra security number on the back of your credit card. It is never written anywhere and can only be found on the card itself. Brilliant and simple.
Consider buying a secure laptop that incorporates biometric security. Better still are laptops that store that biometric data only locally and not in the cloud. Of course, this only works well if the laptop you are using is not already infected with malware and can intercept any local data. Check out the HP Envy as an example.
3. Hidden Tricks
The principle of using biometric data such as a fingerprint scanner or even facial recognition is a solid idea. However, where it gets even cleverer is the idea of hiding some of these features so that they are not obvious to opportunists.
Take for example the Dell XPS 13 and its hidden fingerprint reader under the power button. This is very innovative and follows the trend for hiding some of the secure laptop features.
4. I Spy With My Little Eye
This is not talking about the regular anti-spyware you can get on most secure laptops. No, this is something different and more innovative. It is designed to combat little eyes spying over your shoulder and stealing data from on your screen. Once again, it is a physical security threat rather than a direct software threat.
An example is offered on the HP Elitebook x360 1020 G2 which features HP’s SureView technology. This is a sort of sensor that detects someone spying on you from behind and in response turns the screen white and opaque so that nosey parkers cannot read what is on the screen.
5. Secure Laptop – Keep It Safe
The more your laptop gets knocked around, the more likely it will be damaged internally. Sounds like perfect sense. Don’t overlook it. When your laptop becomes damaged then it becomes even more vulnerable.
Make sure you take the basic precautions and protective measures. The simplest is by using an appropriate case for your laptop. For example, the Macbook air 13 inch case is a thin case that offers really good protection but does not overbulk your slim and stylish laptop.
The importance of using a cover or case for your laptop cannot be over-emphasized. Plus the market offers a wealth of designs and options to choose from making it easier. You are used to a case for your mobile phones now you need to do the same for your laptop if you want to protect it and keep it secure.
Don’t Be a Victim
There are endless stories you can read on the internet of how people have lost their data or had their personal identity stolen. Don’t add your name to the list. By employing some basic but sound security measures you can do a lot to make sure your data remains secure and safe.
When you buy your new secure laptop make sure you buy one that not only has a range of software-based security measures, but also security that exploits the principle of physicality. For example, biometric measures, camera covers and, ‘anti-spy’ measures.
Perhaps you are one of an increasing number of people who are working from home or remotely and need to access your work’s IT network. If you are, then this is an article you do not want to miss.