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Basic Laptop Safety Tips
- Treat your laptop like cash - A laptop is a significant investment. You wouldn't leave cash laying around for someone to grab, so why would you walk away from your laptop? Don't do it – not even for a moment.
- Password protect your laptop - Set up your laptop so that it requires a password in order to log into the operating system. But be sure to use a strong password. Passwords are generally considered strong if:
- It’s at least 8 characters in length.
- It doesn’t contain a word found in the dictionary.
- Contains a combination of letters and numbers.
- Contains at least one upper case letter.
- Contains at least one special character.
- Install all-in-one security software – Most new laptops come with a trial version of at least an antivirus program. But once that trial version has expired, your laptop is no longer protected. If you don’t want to mess around with trial software, uninstall it and install the Charter Security Suite™. The Charter Security Suite™ includes multiple tools to help protect your laptop from today’s online threats. You can install the Charter Security Suite™ on multiple computers and, it’s included with your Charter Internet™ Plus or Ultra service.† Click here to learn more.
- Use a non-descript laptop bag – Bags from laptop manufactures advertise what's inside. Consider using a non-traditional laptop bag or even a generic backpack.
- Use a laptop lock – Laptop locks are relatively cheap and easy to install. When attached to an immovable object, it makes the laptop difficult to steal.
- Back up your data – Many colleges and universities provide personal network drive space to each student. Consider using the space to back up your work so in the event your laptop is ever lost or stolen, you will still be able to retrieve your work.
Going a Bit Further
If you want to take additional measures to ensure both your new laptop and the data inside are safe, then consider:
- Encrypting the laptop’s hard drive - If your laptop is currently running the Ultimate or Enterprise editions of Windows Vista®, Windows 7, or if you plan on upgrading to Windows 8, consider using the built-in BitLocker™ drive encryption program. BitLocker™ will encrypt the whole hard drive making it very difficult for thieves to retrieve the data. Windows XP® users can encrypt files and folders using the built-in Encrypting File System (EFS). Finally, Mac OS® X users can encrypt their home folder with the built-in FileVault program.
- Utilizing tracking software - Tracking software will aid law enforcement officials in recovering your laptop in the event it's ever lost or stolen. Tracking software is generally subscription-based, and often requires an annual fee which can vary greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some tracking software even allows you to remotely erase files that contain personal information so that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
For additional tips on how to protect your computer, visit charter.com/security.
†Charter Security Suite is available at no additional cost for Charter Internet Plus and Ultra customers. Charter does not guarantee data will be secure.
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