How to secure your laptop?

A portable computer.

Information also applicable to Desktop PCs.

VULNERABILITIES
  1. Passwords: It is likely your social media and email passwords have been saved on the laptop.
  2. Plug-ins
  3. Spyware
  4. Find My Device Apps
  5. Unauthorised access to file storage
  6. Tracking apps
  7. Mobile (bug)
  8. Webcam: Hacking into a webcam is common and can lead to an abuser recording you without your knowledge. The webcam could be recording even if its light isn’t on.
ACTIONS
  1. Change all passwords.
  2. Two-factor authentication (see References)
  3. Encrypt the hard disk so only you may access it.
  4. Don’t share your laptop with anyone you don’t completely trust.
  5. Ensure there is no malware or spyware on your laptop (see 10 Warning Signs that your computer is Malware Infected and Is my PC infected with viruses or spyware?).
  6. Update your antivirus software regularly (Avast). Most antivirus softwares have an ‘auto-update’ option.
  7. Cover your webcam lens with tape, a removable sticker or piece of paper at all times.

High threat level: If you know or suspect that your laptop has been tampered with by the attacker, do not use it straight away. Do not connect it to the internet and run installed malware programs to check for tracking or bugging software. The best way to be safe is to wipe the laptop (see more under References). Only use laptops you fully trust (i.e. those belonging to people you trust).


How to secure other connected devices

Playstation, PSP, XBox, Wii, etc.

VULNERABILITIES
  1. Chat function (Abusers can chat with you/your child pretending to be someone else.)
  2. Video chat function (Many consoles have access to a webcam.)
  3. Geotagging photos (This can show your home location.)
  4. Some multi-player games can allow players to gain access to your IP address.
ACTIONS
  1. Enable parental controls. (They will not be automatically switched on.)
  2. Deny access to webcam on consoles.
  3. Don’t use an identifiable username.
  4. Don’t upload photos.
  5. Teach kids that use your console about gaming safety especially regarding online conversations during games.

High threat level: Get rid of your gaming device


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