89 Best PC Tips – Security

Over the course of the next couple of days, I’m going to post quite a few articles in relation to the 89 best PC tips. This will include everything from Audio, iTunes, Email, Productivity, Mac OS X Tips & Tricks, Security, Travel, Video, the Web and even Media in general! This is a very well thought out and well written list originally from Laptop Mag. I enjoyed reading this article so much that I decided it was worth re-publishing. All of the original copyrights are in place, the next series of articles, titled 89 best PC tips, are completely credited to LaptopMag!

The following series of tips is in complete dedication to Security.

#1 – Avoid Slowdowns
To protect your data, you need not only an antivirus program, but also a firewall and an antispyware program. The overhead of this extra software can slow a laptop to a crawl, however, One alternative is Virtual Sandbox 2.0 ($49.95 – www.fortresgrand.com). This software allows you to use untrusted programs, attachments, and Web sites in a safe, isolated environment

#2 – Slay Spyware
There are some decent free anti-spyware programs that primarily block pop-ups and repair damage already done to your PC. Webroot’s AntiVirus with AntiSpyware & Firewall ($29.95 – webroot.com) works comprehensively; It blocks known and emerging threats while you’re browsing the Web, performs deep searches of your computer, destroys installed spyware, and scans incoming and outgoing e-mail attachments.

#3 – Connect safely in a hotspot
Public Wi-Fi is a godsend, but the open nature of hotspots can prove a security risk. Boost your notebooks defenses with JiWire Hotspot Helper ($24.95 per year – www.jiwire.com), which automatically encrypts all of your incoming and outgoing data to prevent Wi-Fi hackers from tapping into vital information.

#4 – Carry a cable lock
This may seem like overkill, but how many times have you worried about leaving a laptop in a hotel room or, worse still, in a meeting room? How many times have you had to lug the laptop to lunch because you couldn’t find a safe place to leave it? A simple, lightweight cable lock such as the Kensington Microsafer Retractable Notebook Lock ($29.99 – us.kensington.com) will protect your laptop from thieves and give you some peace of mind.

#5 – Secure your laptop’s BIOS
Think your laptop’s data files are secure? Keep in mind that someone can boot your laptop with a Linus CD and bypass the Windows user password. Be sure to adjust the BIOS or Setup program on your laptop so that the system will boot off the hard drive first (Hitting the F12 key during startup with usually get you into the BIOS or Setup program.) Then put a password on the BIOS, so nobody can undo what you just did.

#6 – Avoid Evil Web Sites
Trend Micro’s TrendProtect (www.trendsecure.com), a free browser plug-in, gives you a good idea of how likely a given search result from Google, MSN or Yahoo will load your laptop with spyware and other obnoxious programs. Safe sites are marked green. Enter the red sites at your own risk.


A thirty-something code ninja + web diva. Former New Yorker who's passionate about web development, HTML/CSS, beautifying things and marketing.

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