The beauty of a laptop is, of course, its portability. Unlike their desktop counterparts, we can take them absolutely anywhere, making it possible to work even when we’re on the go. Handy as this is, however, it does mean laptops are at a higher risk from security threats than their static counterparts.
Working from Starbucks, checking and replying to emails on the train, taking out travel insurance from the departures lounge at the airport… these are all scenarios where using public wifi can place you in danger. So, how exactly do you prevent other people from accessing your laptop when you want to use it in a public place?
Here are a few of our top tips for staying safe.
Use a VPN
One of the dangers of using your laptop on the go is that you’re likely to log into public Wi-Fi networks, which are far less secure than the connection you have at home. Whilst you can’t take your router along with you, there is something you can do to hide your communications online, and that’s using a VPN. By re-directing your connection through one or more servers, VPNs allow you to privately and safely access the web by veiling your actions. The software it’s based on encrypts this information before it’s ever logged by the Wi-Fi provider, which means that whether you’re banking online, conducting a Google search, or making a purchase, your sensitive data is never in the open.
Vet websites carefully
The connection you use can be one area of weakness when it comes to your personal data, but so too can websites. There are a number of ways that you can make sure these are secure, and we recommend that you bear them in mind any time you use the internet, whether at home or on the move. Firstly, you ought to check that the URL in your address bar is preceded by a padlock emblem, as this indicates that you’re viewing a secure website. In addition, you’ll want to make sure the address itself is preceded by ‘https’ as opposed to ‘http’ for the same reason. If you’re still not sure whether you can trust a site or not, try to find some reviews online, either through an industry-specific directory site such as the service provided by Bonus Source, which ranks and reviews online casinos, or a more generic assessor such as Trustpilot.
Encrypt your hard drive
The main risk of using your laptop in public pertains to cybercrime, but let’s not also forget that physical theft is a possibility. Password protection is something almost all of us already implement, but the reality is that it’s not always enough to stop an attacker from accessing your files. In fact, should someone steal your laptop, they can simply remove the hard drive and read these directly – unless, that is, you encrypt it. Making it impossible for any unauthorized identity to access your sensitive information, encryption is one of the best ways to protect yourself and thwart any would-be hackers or fraudsters.
Isn’t it time to safeguard your personal information and stop it from falling into the wrong hands?