laptop security

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by mat, May 18, 2005.

  1. mat

    mat Guest

    I'm going on holiday and taking a laptop with me. It's got lots of personal
    info on it and I am worried about it being stolen. Are there any ways of
    preventing anyone from getting to the contents of the hard drive? I take
    it that the password I have to enter when XP starts up is not going to stop
    anyone other than a 5 year old kid.

    I don't want a "mission impossible" style self destruct as it could land me
    in trouble. I don't have a problem with the computer self destructing but
    it would have to be:

    1. legal
    2. accident proof

    Any imaginative suggestions welcome.
     
    mat, May 18, 2005
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. mat

    Toolman Tim Guest

    "mat" <> wrote in message
    news:d6g4k9$df$-infra.bt.com...
    > I'm going on holiday and taking a laptop with me. It's got lots of
    > personal info on it and I am worried about it being stolen. Are there any
    > ways of preventing anyone from getting to the contents of the hard drive?
    > I take it that the password I have to enter when XP starts up is not going
    > to stop anyone other than a 5 year old kid.
    >
    > I don't want a "mission impossible" style self destruct as it could land
    > me in trouble. I don't have a problem with the computer self destructing
    > but it would have to be:
    >
    > 1. legal
    > 2. accident proof
    >
    > Any imaginative suggestions welcome.
    >

    Depending on the model of laptop, there are up to 4 built-in security
    features that I'm familar with, besides Windows security.

    1) the newer ones have SD security, or fingerprint readers, etc. I assume
    you don't have one like that, or you wouldn't be asking this question <g>

    2) BIOS level password protection (three possible options that I'm aware
    of - not all are available on all laptops). A) System setup password, B)
    user password, C) hard drive password. Set all that you have. The computer
    will not boot without the user having the password. The hard drive password
    prevents removing the hard drive and using it in a different system to gain
    access (or that's the theory anyway.)

    Windows XP itself has pretty good security. Tighten it up.

    1) boot into safe mode (F8 right after the POST) and set a STRONG password
    (9 characters using some of each: upper and lower case, numbers, special
    characters - ^$%, etc.) on ALL accounts - adminstrator and user accounts.
    Turn OFF the guest account.

    2) When doing the above you will be asked if you want to make file private -
    the answer is YES.

    3) encrypt your data folders (XP pro only, IIRC)

    4) Password protect individual files. Just about every program that I've
    seen which is used to handle confidential data has some method of password
    protection built in. I use that for Excel (budget, personal financial data
    list, password list) and Word (journal, private documents) and Quicken.

    I have all my files of the above type kept separately - a special folder
    (actually, a breifcase for easy backups to my USB drive.)
     
    Toolman Tim, May 18, 2005
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. mat

    Stevo Guest

    mat wrote:
    > I'm going on holiday and taking a laptop with me. It's got lots of
    > personal info on it and I am worried about it being stolen. Are
    > there any ways of preventing anyone from getting to the contents of
    > the hard drive? I take it that the password I have to enter when XP
    > starts up is not going to stop anyone other than a 5 year old kid.
    >
    > I don't want a "mission impossible" style self destruct as it could
    > land me in trouble. I don't have a problem with the computer self
    > destructing but it would have to be:
    >
    > 1. legal
    > 2. accident proof
    >
    > Any imaginative suggestions welcome.


    As well as securing your data, take the initial step of securing the
    laptop itself. Get a good, motion sensor alarm type of Kensington lock
    device and use it. Also look at a secure bag, such as a Pacsafe day bag,
    which is covered steel mesh with a locking cable that can be secured to
    some fixed object depending where you happen to be leaving it. I use one
    of these, securing the bag to the car seat when it's left in the car
    (with the Kensington lock fitted as well) or to a fixed object in a
    motel room when there. I leave the Kensington lock fitted and alarmed
    when sleeping as well! Having lost one laptop through burglary, with
    essential business data on it, I am not going to lose another one!


    --
    Stevo
    (pull the PIN to reply by e-mail)
     
    Stevo, May 18, 2005
    #3
  4. mat

    Aquanaut Guest

    "mat" <> wrote in message
    news:d6g4k9$df$-infra.bt.com...
    > I'm going on holiday and taking a laptop with me. It's got lots of
    > personal info on it and I am worried about it being stolen. Are there any
    > ways of preventing anyone from getting to the contents of the hard drive?
    > I take it that the password I have to enter when XP starts up is not going
    > to stop anyone other than a 5 year old kid.
    >
    > I don't want a "mission impossible" style self destruct as it could land
    > me in trouble. I don't have a problem with the computer self destructing
    > but it would have to be:
    >
    > 1. legal
    > 2. accident proof
    >
    > Any imaginative suggestions welcome.
    >
    >
    >

    have you thought about not taking it with you?--or are you a control freak?
    any pertinant data could easily be accessed via a bit of ftp storage,or some
    equaly viable means---just use the cafe internet.
    A holiday is meant to be time out with the nearest and dearest---not using
    the wireless connection on a beach
    Get a life
    your wife and kids will thank you for it
     
    Aquanaut, May 18, 2005
    #4
  5. mat

    Cubzilla Guest

    "Toolman Tim" <> wrote in message
    news:eRMie.23757$...
    >
    > "mat" <> wrote in message
    > news:d6g4k9$df$-infra.bt.com...
    >> I'm going on holiday and taking a laptop with me. It's got lots of
    >> personal info on it and I am worried about it being stolen. Are there
    >> any ways of preventing anyone from getting to the contents of the hard
    >> drive? I take it that the password I have to enter when XP starts up is
    >> not going to stop anyone other than a 5 year old kid.
    >>
    >> I don't want a "mission impossible" style self destruct as it could land
    >> me in trouble. I don't have a problem with the computer self destructing
    >> but it would have to be:
    >>
    >> 1. legal
    >> 2. accident proof
    >>
    >> Any imaginative suggestions welcome.
    >>

    > Depending on the model of laptop, there are up to 4 built-in security
    > features that I'm familar with, besides Windows security.
    >
    > 1) the newer ones have SD security, or fingerprint readers, etc. I assume
    > you don't have one like that, or you wouldn't be asking this question <g>
    >
    > 2) BIOS level password protection (three possible options that I'm aware
    > of - not all are available on all laptops). A) System setup password, B)
    > user password, C) hard drive password. Set all that you have. The computer
    > will not boot without the user having the password. The hard drive
    > password prevents removing the hard drive and using it in a different
    > system to gain access (or that's the theory anyway.)
    >
    > Windows XP itself has pretty good security. Tighten it up.
    >
    > 1) boot into safe mode (F8 right after the POST) and set a STRONG password
    > (9 characters using some of each: upper and lower case, numbers, special
    > characters - ^$%, etc.) on ALL accounts - adminstrator and user accounts.
    > Turn OFF the guest account.
    >
    > 2) When doing the above you will be asked if you want to make file
    > private - the answer is YES.
    >
    > 3) encrypt your data folders (XP pro only, IIRC)
    >
    > 4) Password protect individual files. Just about every program that I've
    > seen which is used to handle confidential data has some method of password
    > protection built in. I use that for Excel (budget, personal financial data
    > list, password list) and Word (journal, private documents) and Quicken.
    >
    > I have all my files of the above type kept separately - a special folder
    > (actually, a breifcase for easy backups to my USB drive.)
    >
    >


    Sorry but if the disk is moved across to a another machine any file not
    encripted will be accessible

    take a look at http://www.pointsec.com/core/default.asp

    This is used to encript all the date on the disk and need a ekey to unlock


    Cub
     
    Cubzilla, May 18, 2005
    #5
  6. mat

    ellis_jay Guest

    mat wrote:
    > I'm going on holiday and taking a laptop with me. It's got lots of
    > personal info on it and I am worried about it being stolen. Are
    > there any ways of preventing anyone from getting to the contents of
    > the hard drive? I take it that the password I have to enter when XP
    > starts up is not going to stop anyone other than a 5 year old kid.
    >
    > I don't want a "mission impossible" style self destruct as it could
    > land me in trouble. I don't have a problem with the computer self
    > destructing but it would have to be:
    >
    > 1. legal
    > 2. accident proof
    >
    > Any imaginative suggestions welcome.


    http://www.synet.biz/nTracker/index.htm


    http://www.targus.com/us/accessories_security.asp


    http://www.microsaver.com/


    http://www.roadwired.com/store/category.cfm?categoryid=8


    http://www.ztrace.com/

    http://www.absolute.com/public/main/default.asp

    --
    He released government from the restraint of law.
    ____Lord Acton on Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527), George W. Bush, and
    the Straussian neocons

    Ellis_Jay
     
    ellis_jay, May 18, 2005
    #6
  7. mat

    JANA Guest

    Set up the laptop to require a password to log in. Keep your valuable
    information files on a memory stick, that you can always keep in your
    pocket.

    --

    JANA
    _____


    "mat" <> wrote in message
    news:d6g4k9$df$-infra.bt.com...
    I'm going on holiday and taking a laptop with me. It's got lots of personal
    info on it and I am worried about it being stolen. Are there any ways of
    preventing anyone from getting to the contents of the hard drive? I take
    it that the password I have to enter when XP starts up is not going to stop
    anyone other than a 5 year old kid.

    I don't want a "mission impossible" style self destruct as it could land me
    in trouble. I don't have a problem with the computer self destructing but
    it would have to be:

    1. legal
    2. accident proof

    Any imaginative suggestions welcome.
     
    JANA, May 18, 2005
    #7
  8. mat

    mat Guest

    Do you know that I will be anywhere near an internet cafe? That I want
    access to the internet? That I have a wife and kids? That I need your advice
    on how to get a life? Sad weirdo....


    "Aquanaut" <> wrote in message
    news:z5Nie.15553$...
    >
    > "mat" <> wrote in message
    > news:d6g4k9$df$-infra.bt.com...
    >> I'm going on holiday and taking a laptop with me. It's got lots of
    >> personal info on it and I am worried about it being stolen. Are there
    >> any ways of preventing anyone from getting to the contents of the hard
    >> drive? I take it that the password I have to enter when XP starts up is
    >> not going to stop anyone other than a 5 year old kid.
    >>
    >> I don't want a "mission impossible" style self destruct as it could land
    >> me in trouble. I don't have a problem with the computer self destructing
    >> but it would have to be:
    >>
    >> 1. legal
    >> 2. accident proof
    >>
    >> Any imaginative suggestions welcome.
    >>
    >>
    >>

    > have you thought about not taking it with you?--or are you a control
    > freak?
    > any pertinant data could easily be accessed via a bit of ftp storage,or
    > some equaly viable means---just use the cafe internet.
    > A holiday is meant to be time out with the nearest and dearest---not using
    > the wireless connection on a beach
    > Get a life
    > your wife and kids will thank you for it
    >
     
    mat, May 19, 2005
    #8
  9. mat

    mat Guest

    Can I keep 15GB of photos on a memory stick? I have a feeling that I would
    need a necklace with 20 sticks dangling off it!


    "JANA" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Set up the laptop to require a password to log in. Keep your valuable
    > information files on a memory stick, that you can always keep in your
    > pocket.
    >
    > --
    >
    > JANA
    > _____
    >
    >
    > "mat" <> wrote in message
    > news:d6g4k9$df$-infra.bt.com...
    > I'm going on holiday and taking a laptop with me. It's got lots of
    > personal
    > info on it and I am worried about it being stolen. Are there any ways of
    > preventing anyone from getting to the contents of the hard drive? I take
    > it that the password I have to enter when XP starts up is not going to
    > stop
    > anyone other than a 5 year old kid.
    >
    > I don't want a "mission impossible" style self destruct as it could land
    > me
    > in trouble. I don't have a problem with the computer self destructing but
    > it would have to be:
    >
    > 1. legal
    > 2. accident proof
    >
    > Any imaginative suggestions welcome.
    >
    >
    >
    >
     
    mat, May 19, 2005
    #9
  10. mat

    MrGrumpy Guest

    Lastly - passwords, wonderfull if you forget them

    "mat" <> wrote in message
    news:d6gi8v$g5t$-infra.bt.com...
    > Can I keep 15GB of photos on a memory stick? I have a feeling that I

    would
    > need a necklace with 20 sticks dangling off it!
    >
    >
    > "JANA" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > > Set up the laptop to require a password to log in. Keep your valuable
    > > information files on a memory stick, that you can always keep in your
    > > pocket.
    > >
    > > --
    > >
    > > JANA
    > > _____
    > >
    > >
    > > "mat" <> wrote in message
    > > news:d6g4k9$df$-infra.bt.com...
    > > I'm going on holiday and taking a laptop with me. It's got lots of
    > > personal
    > > info on it and I am worried about it being stolen. Are there any ways

    of
    > > preventing anyone from getting to the contents of the hard drive? I

    take
    > > it that the password I have to enter when XP starts up is not going to
    > > stop
    > > anyone other than a 5 year old kid.
    > >
    > > I don't want a "mission impossible" style self destruct as it could land
    > > me
    > > in trouble. I don't have a problem with the computer self destructing

    but
    > > it would have to be:
    > >
    > > 1. legal
    > > 2. accident proof
    > >
    > > Any imaginative suggestions welcome.
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >

    >
    >
     
    MrGrumpy, May 19, 2005
    #10
  11. mat

    Toolman Tim Guest

    You have photos you feel the need to secure? Why? Is porn getting that
    expensive? <g> (Just kidding...) I burned all my photos to DVD (my MP3s too)
    since they aren't "personal info" that could possibly bother me if they were
    lost/damaged or even if I had to delete old ones to make room for new ones.

    "mat" <> wrote in message
    news:d6gi8v$g5t$-infra.bt.com...
    > Can I keep 15GB of photos on a memory stick? I have a feeling that I
    > would need a necklace with 20 sticks dangling off it!
    >
    >
    > "JANA" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> Set up the laptop to require a password to log in. Keep your valuable
    >> information files on a memory stick, that you can always keep in your
    >> pocket.
    >>
    >> --
    >>
    >> JANA
    >> _____
    >>
    >>
    >> "mat" <> wrote in message
    >> news:d6g4k9$df$-infra.bt.com...
    >> I'm going on holiday and taking a laptop with me. It's got lots of
    >> personal
    >> info on it and I am worried about it being stolen. Are there any ways of
    >> preventing anyone from getting to the contents of the hard drive? I
    >> take
    >> it that the password I have to enter when XP starts up is not going to
    >> stop
    >> anyone other than a 5 year old kid.
    >>
    >> I don't want a "mission impossible" style self destruct as it could land
    >> me
    >> in trouble. I don't have a problem with the computer self destructing
    >> but
    >> it would have to be:
    >>
    >> 1. legal
    >> 2. accident proof
    >>
    >> Any imaginative suggestions welcome.
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>

    >
    >
     
    Toolman Tim, May 19, 2005
    #11
  12. There are quite a few 20GB Flash HDDs, and larger, and if you want really
    large, you could go for a PCMCIA-size HDD. I have both of these and they're
    both very small and very useful.

    You might want to consider archiving some of the photos onto a couple of
    password protected 8.5GB DVDs, to reduce your exposure.

    Without any additional hardware, your best protection is to use all BIOS and
    System passwords available and encrypt/compress the data. These techniques
    have been covered so far, so I won't add anything.

    Whenever I take my laptop on a trip, I always create a system and data
    backup which I leave at home. Just an idea, but its saved me lots of grief.

    Good luck with this.


    "mat" <> wrote in message
    news:d6gi8v$g5t$-infra.bt.com...
    > Can I keep 15GB of photos on a memory stick? I have a feeling that I
    > would need a necklace with 20 sticks dangling off it!
    >
    >
    > "JANA" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> Set up the laptop to require a password to log in. Keep your valuable
    >> information files on a memory stick, that you can always keep in your
    >> pocket.
    >>
    >> --
    >>
    >> JANA
    >> _____
    >>
    >>
    >> "mat" <> wrote in message
    >> news:d6g4k9$df$-infra.bt.com...
    >> I'm going on holiday and taking a laptop with me. It's got lots of
    >> personal
    >> info on it and I am worried about it being stolen. Are there any ways of
    >> preventing anyone from getting to the contents of the hard drive? I
    >> take
    >> it that the password I have to enter when XP starts up is not going to
    >> stop
    >> anyone other than a 5 year old kid.
    >>
    >> I don't want a "mission impossible" style self destruct as it could land
    >> me
    >> in trouble. I don't have a problem with the computer self destructing
    >> but
    >> it would have to be:
    >>
    >> 1. legal
    >> 2. accident proof
    >>
    >> Any imaginative suggestions welcome.
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>

    >
    >
     
    Christian Royle, May 19, 2005
    #12
  13. mat

    Toolman Tim Guest

    "Christian Royle" <> wrote in message
    news:d6gmoi$7qq$-infra.bt.com...
    > There are quite a few 20GB Flash HDDs, and larger, and if you want really
    > large, you could go for a PCMCIA-size HDD. I have both of these and
    > they're both very small and very useful.
    >
    > You might want to consider archiving some of the photos onto a couple of
    > password protected 8.5GB DVDs, to reduce your exposure.
    >
    > Without any additional hardware, your best protection is to use all BIOS
    > and System passwords available and encrypt/compress the data. These
    > techniques have been covered so far, so I won't add anything.
    >
    > Whenever I take my laptop on a trip, I always create a system and data
    > backup which I leave at home. Just an idea, but its saved me lots of
    > grief.
    >

    I concur - I had a laptop stolen in LA about 17 months ago. Same thing - I
    had all my critical data on my desktop. Even though confidential info on the
    laptop was password protected etc., I still cancelled all my credit cards,
    closed my bank account, all that kind of stuff. No repercussions so far:
    whoever got the laptop probably couldn't get into it and erased the HD to
    start over.
     
    Toolman Tim, May 19, 2005
    #13
  14. mat wrote:
    > Can I keep 15GB of photos on a memory stick? I have a feeling that

    I would
    > need a necklace with 20 sticks dangling off it!
    >
    >

    No but you could hold those on an "image tank" style harddisk such as
    this one:
    http://www.apacer.com/apacer_english/product_html/share_steno_cd211.asp

    A lot smaller and lighter than a laptop and a lot less likely to
    attract thieves.

    Jeroen
     
    Jeroen Wijnands, May 19, 2005
    #14
  15. mat

    Toolman Tim Guest

    "Jeroen Wijnands" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > mat wrote:
    >> Can I keep 15GB of photos on a memory stick? I have a feeling that

    > I would
    >> need a necklace with 20 sticks dangling off it!
    >>
    >>

    > No but you could hold those on an "image tank" style harddisk such as
    > this one:
    > http://www.apacer.com/apacer_english/product_html/share_steno_cd211.asp
    >
    > A lot smaller and lighter than a laptop and a lot less likely to
    > attract thieves.
    >

    That *is* cool! A USB device that talks to other USB devices without a
    PC...I could offload my camera's memory into it without my laptop <g>!
     
    Toolman Tim, May 19, 2005
    #15
  16. Toolman Tim wrote:
    > "Jeroen Wijnands" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > >
    > > mat wrote:
    > >> Can I keep 15GB of photos on a memory stick? I have a feeling

    that
    > > I would
    > >> need a necklace with 20 sticks dangling off it!
    > >>
    > >>

    > > No but you could hold those on an "image tank" style harddisk such

    as
    > > this one:
    > >

    http://www.apacer.com/apacer_english/product_html/share_steno_cd211.asp
    > >
    > > A lot smaller and lighter than a laptop and a lot less likely to
    > > attract thieves.
    > >

    > That *is* cool! A USB device that talks to other USB devices without

    a
    > PC...I could offload my camera's memory into it without my laptop

    <g>!

    That's the whole idea. There's variations on this idea. Some have built
    in readers for the most common storage card types. There's even some
    with a build in screen so that you can view the pictures on it.

    Jeroen
     
    Jeroen Wijnands, May 20, 2005
    #16
    1. Advertising

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. AM
    Replies:
    4
    Views:
    852
  2. Replies:
    0
    Views:
    744
  3. Rick Sears
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    518
    Rick Sears
    Jul 29, 2003
  4. COMSOLIT Messmer

    IT-Security, Security, e-security

    COMSOLIT Messmer, Sep 5, 2003, in forum: Computer Support
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    625
    COMSOLIT Messmer
    Sep 5, 2003
  5. rafael
    Replies:
    7
    Views:
    1,929
    Jack \(MVP-Networking\).
    Jan 21, 2008
Loading...

Share This Page