05-02-2012 12:00 PM - edited 05-02-2012 12:00 PM
Hi, I recently went through the exercise of setting up some programs to protect myself online on public wifi as well as protect my on-computer data. Since I didn't find any post on this topic, thought I'd share what I learnt. I have a Lenovo X120e but this should apply to any laptop user. I activated 4 things:
1. Registered my x120e at http://preyproject.com. This is a free service. In case your laptop is stolen you can login there from somewhere else and set your laptop to 'missing' and activate alarms, messages, data wipe-out etc.
2. Subscribed to Hotspot Shield Elite. When you connect to a public wifi (starbucks, airport), it converts it to a VPN. Your IP address is also temporarily changed, so you can't be hacked into.
3. Installed Folder Lock - great for protecting valuable files on the computer. Encrypt/lock/hide them. There is a one time cost to this sw.
4. Installed KeyPass password manager. Excellent Open Source sw. Free.
I am sure there are other excellent programs out there than you can use instead of these, but these seem to be the ones currently highly rated. And for a net $50+ and some installation effort, the safety and peace of mind is definitely worth it.
05-03-2012 02:45 PM
Thank you for sharing these helpful tips. I'm sure others will benefit from your post.
I am not employed by Lenovo or Microsoft. I am a volunteer.
Microsoft MVP - Consumer Security
08-02-2012 10:47 AM
09-20-2012 10:19 AM
A couple of things people may already know... but am adding here anyway, because I just discovered them and found useful (and they're free!)
6. Create hot keys using WinHotKey, for commands to open your various security apps: I have hotkeys for Folder Lock 7, KeePass, USB Locked 4.0 etc. I don't keep shortcut icons for them on the desktop, and operate in sort of a stealth mode. This was initially not easy, but over time I've become very good at the hot keys. Dwnld link:: http://directedge.us/content/winhotkey Don't forget to put WinHotKey in the Startup list, using msconfig,
7. Create a strong disk reboot / restart password in the BIOS. Once you shutdown the laptop, noone can reboot it but you since it will ask for this passwd (this is prior to the Windows/User passwd, if any). This protects you if someone discovers your user passwd, or if someone takes out your disk and puts it in another machine. It won't boot up without the disk passwd, or if connected by USB, won't show the disk contents. I took out my secure HDD (to put in a new SSD) and connected the old HDD via USB to a different PC. The PC realized that a disk device had been connected and initiated a driver, but wouldn't let me open or access any volume. Of course, this means each time you reboot your laptop, you have this additional disk passwd to enter, but it's worth it. People can't fool around with your laptop.
10-15-2012 10:20 AM
8. Installed an Anti- keystroke logger. Zemana offers a free version that installs easily. I ran their 'test' program which showed that my keystrokes will appear encrypted to someone trying to log them. I'm not sure what more the paid version does.