The summer is always an incredible opportunity to take time away from your devices to enjoy the sun, the sand, and whatever else you and your family may still have planned. But, when summer does come to an end and school starts up again, your laptop will become an important part of your day-to-day life. Not only for students starting or returning to college, but younger students are also often using laptops at school.
Protect your laptop and your personal data with these back-to-school laptop security tips:
One of the biggest concerns in laptop security is theft. One in ten laptops will be stolen in the USA in the first year of purchase – and almost all of them are never recovered. Simply getting up to run to the washroom can leave enough time for someone to grab your laptop.
If your laptop does get into the wrong hands — even the hands of someone you know — locking your screen when not in use is a key step in keeping your private information safe. Make sure not to use a passcode that’s easily guessed, like your birthday or name. Having your screen locked when you do happen to be away from your laptop will also make it less likely that someone will steal it.
Using your pet’s name or something simple as your password will almost always be the culprit in hacking attempts. Using the same password across multiple platforms, making it easy on your memory, makes it even easier for hackers to gain access to all of your apps and data.
Using a password generator will make sure each password is unique and extremely difficult to guess. In the event that a password is stolen or guessed, having multi-factor authentication set up (having an app text you a code when a new device attempts to sign in, for example) will prevent hackers from getting any further.
Educational settings are often the prey of data breaches due to the high amount of sensitive data such as credit cards and social security numbers available within the network’s database. You can protect your own data by choosing not to save credit cards and other information internally on your laptop.
Your student email can also be compromised by cyber attacks in the form of phishing emails, etc. Even an email with an attachment seemingly coming from your professor or trusted program could actually be a scam. You should always question every email and reach out separately if anything seems suspicious.
Perhaps not possible when your student-aged child is college-bound, setting up parental controls for younger students can help to prevent them from downloading or opening suspicious programs and files on their laptops. If you’re a student, some parental controls may come in handy, such as setting up content filters to block phishing sites, pages with insecure connections, and other content you don’t want to see.
When connecting to a school’s public wifi network, there’s an increased chance that malicious behavior can target your own device than if you’re on a private network. This is why it’s incredibly important to have up-to-date anti-virus and malware protection software installed on your laptop.
Total Defense provides multiple security protections geared towards laptops being used in educational settings – and you can do a 30-day trial for free!