Don’t Be a Victim: Stop the Data Thieves from Accessing your Laptop

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People will take precautions about what companies they give their private information to if they think that it is not handled securely.

If a person expects a business to keep their information safe, it would seem that they would also take the steps that are needed to keep the information on their own laptop safe. The reality is that most people do not, and the computer thieves of the world are aware of it. There are many ways that the computer thieves are gaining access to the private information that can be found on your laptop and there are some easy steps that people can take to prevent it.

Malware, Spyware and other software

One of the most common ways that the thieves gain access to the private information is through some type of software that they manage to install on your computer. Spyware and malware usually get onto a computer when the user clicks on a link in an email or downloads software that also contains the virus.

There are many types of spyware and malware that can infect a computer. Programs that redirect you to certain sites or that cause pop-up ads to occur are very common. There are also keystroke programs that record every keystroke you make on your computer. If a hacker gets one of these on your computer, they will have access to the sites you visit, the passwords you use and a lot more. There is also spyware that provides a hacker with remote access to your computer so they can search for any information that you have stored on it.

Once the spyware is on the computer, it is difficult to get rid of.  It is best to turn to security software to prevent this from happening. Antivirus software can be downloaded for free and can provide the protection that is needed. It is also important to take steps such as encrypting any documents and always logging out of any sites that you visit.

Stealing your Laptop

The old fashioned way of getting the private information off of your laptop is still popular. People will steal your computer. Once they have stolen it, they will be able to try to gain access to everything that you have stored on it. There is software that can be used that will prevent anyone from gaining access to a laptop that is not authorized. This means that when they steal your laptop, it will be worthless to them unless they can disable this software.

One of the best ways to protect your laptop from these types of thieves is to use software that can track the location of your laptop. When the thief turns the computer on, it will be located by using the software and another computer device.

Public Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi hotspots are very popular with laptop users. They are able to access the internet in many places and this can be very convenient. It can also be dangerous. If a hacker sets up their own Wi-Fi hotspot and a person enters that network by mistake, they could be giving access to their computer to the owner of that fake network. This happens anywhere a Wi-Fi hotspot is available including hotels, internet cafes and airports.

There are several ways to protect yourself when using Wi-Fi hotspots.

·         Use the right network – Ask the business what the name of their public network is and make sure that is the one that you choose.

·         Maintain security software – The software can prevent someone else from accessing your computer while on the public network.

·         Be careful what sites you visit – banking sites and any other sensitive sites should be avoided when on public networks.

It is very important that people take their personal computer security as strongly as they take the security of big companies. There is more likelihood of having your computer hacked by a thief than there is to losing private information stored by a big company. It is not enough to just hope that the things that are in place will be able to keep you safe.

Some people may think that the recovery program and the firewall of their computer are enough to keep it safe. They do not realize that they not only need to take additional steps to keep anyone off of their laptop, they so need to take steps to make sure that the information they keep on their computer is safe and secure. The steps take a little time and effort, but they take a lot less time and effort than needed to repair the damage that a computer thief can cause.


Photo Courtesy of chanpipat at


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