Laptop Security Essay Example

How can laptop security be improved?

Guiding questions

  • How do students use laptops
  • What constitutes laptop security
  • How secure are the laptops
  • What kind of security measures do users put in place?
  • What are the benefits of a secure laptop?

Many people around the world are using laptops as a tool for search of new information. As the world becomes more interconnected and information sharing increases, many higher education institutions are embarking on encouraging adoption of these technologies in their teaching process. Although these technological advancement and development have been revolutionary, they also have disadvantages (Mas, Priscilla, & Wong, 2009). Laptops which are more portable and easier to carry are used by students in learning institutions. They use them to do their courseworks, have discussions online, chat with their friends, and seek new information from all over the world. In the course of doing so, they expose themselves to many insecurities that are brought about by technological development. These insecurities involve identity stealing, hacking, and data stealing among others. This paper discussed some of the security concerns regarding laptops and how to solve those.

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Many higher education institutions have initiated the use of laptops in their programs, which makes the issue of laptop security very critical (Paul & Le, 2008). They enable students to interact with various stakeholders that may improve their learning. According to many researches carried out about the use of laptops in higher education institutions, there is increased intake of use of laptops and other gadgets in the classrooms. All this has revolutionized the education sector. Although all these changes have been tremendous, there is a number of security issues. These issues may be physical insecurity, software and hardware vulnerability, security concerning data stored and storage concerns. This phenomenon has created demand for more information among users, as laptops and other portable gadgets have become vulnerable to loss and theft. People may also target laptops due to their portability not to sell those but to gain access to the sensitive data and information that may be stored in those. Many people view laptops as an investment and as every investor is concerned with safety of a business, the same is true with the owners of laptops. Laptop security has become a topic that is widely discussed in society. This is due to the risk they place one into in case their laptops are misplaced or hacked. In order for users to be aware about security concern and know how to solve the issues, we decided to carry out a project aimed at educating them on security concerns and how to address those. There are several ways that can be employed to make sure that laptops are secure.

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Current Situation

The Rapid Nature with which Technology Advances Have Made Educational Institutions Concerned about Security of Laptops

Many educational institutions are interested in using laptops to improve the learning process. Technology use in educational institutions has improved the quality of learning and enhanced networking of students (James & Hakan, 2005). In many higher education institutions around the world, students and tutors are turning to technology to deliver the best outcomes in the learning environment. This has made learning not only fun, but also interactive. As reported by Rockman et al. (2000), the use of laptops enables learning institutions to utilize improved strategies and effectively transfer knowledge across different courses. This takes place because students using laptops get involved in various activities, such as completion of larger projects, applying new strategies for learning, socializing with various stakeholders, easily solving their projects, and becoming motivated. Students who utilize laptops to enhance their learning experience develop and learn new ways of doing things (Sharon & Robin, 2010). This trend has seen the number of students with laptops increase tremendously in the last decades. According to Erping, Matthew, Charles, & Inger (2010), 50% of students in the University of Michigan indicated in a research that, they currently bring laptops with them to the classroom. This statistics is uniform around the world, where people are engaging in interactive learning. Many people are embracing online or e-learning modules whereby, they interact with their teachers through the internet. In addition, there are a lot of transactions that are being carried out through the internet. This entire trend makes it mandatory to have a secure laptop. According to research carried out in USA, in the last 10 years, there have been 200 million reports and cases of identity theft through the internet. In 2007 only, two thirds of all the reported cases were through computers which were stolen or people gaining access to the computers, retrieving important information and taking a total control over someone’s information and accounts. Due to this fact, it is only better to have secure laptops and make sure that all data and information is safe and free from invasion by identity thieves. Although many people are aware of the insecurity dangers when it comes to personal data, research has indicated that, only a few are securing their laptops as it should be. Others are ignorant and do nothing to protect their identity.

Project Plan

The project will take up an educational perspective of laptop security. To achieve the objectives of the project, we are going to embark on training the students and teachers on how to ensure laptop security. To do so, we are going to divide the project into five aspects as follows.

  • User responsibility: Through increased user awareness of the risks and application of a laptop security interim standard;
  • Physical security: Both at the user’s “base” and when travelling;
  • Access control/authentication;
  • Data protection: Using software and hardware based solutions;
  • Tracking/recovery: Particularly for devices at high risk or containing very sensitive data.

First, we are going to develop a standard document detailing how one is supposed to ensure user responsibility to increase security of a gadget. This will include, but not limited to, educating our audiences on how one can increase security through proper care, handling and maintenance of laptops. This includes making sure that relevant programs are installed and are handled with maximum care to prevent any damage that may arise due to mishandling of the gadget. As discussed earlier, users are the main controllers and determinants of the security of the laptop. It also involves educating students on the right software to use and how to recognize malicious software that is developed to infiltrate other people’s system and steal data and information from them. In terms of physical security, we are going to design ways to educate the users on how to take care about their laptops when they are in their normal working environments and when they are travelling. This will include making sure that the laptops are placed in better positions, are protected from shocks, falls and liquids which could cause damage to those. It will also include basic care guidelines. In terms of access control and authentication, we are going to discuss about how one can limit access by unauthorized people using passwords. It also includes disabling live booting from CD and USB as discussed. It also involves using passwords in BIOS that will also limit and control who can access the laptop. In terms of data protection, we are going to discuss how one can protect the data using software and hardware. This will include using firewalls, and anti-viruses among others. This will also increase security of data sent through the network. The last part will include tracking and recovery of laptops in case of theft. This can be done through software and hardware programs that help one to locate where the gadgets are at a particular point of time. To realize our goal, we are going to employ the use of visual and non-visual materials. We are going to have seminars and discussions with our target audience so that we could actively involve them in the project.

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How to Observe Laptop Security

As discussed earlier, laptops have become an integral part of student lives. Laptops have given students a chance to discover the world and connect with different people around the world. In addition, they also have an ability to ease their learning process and do researches online. Increased use of laptops has been hit hard by insecurities, which have led to the demand for a better security for laptops. Security may be discussed in terms of physical security or security concerning cybercrimes. Physical security may be in form of protection against physical damage that may be brought about by explosion to excessive heat, falls, contacts with liquids that may cause electric shocks and burns among others. Other security concerns include hacking, internet identity theft, etc. All these crimes are interfering with proper day to day lives of many laptop users. To make sure that they are secure, one is supposed to make sure that rules, regulations and guidelines set by the manufacturers are followed. One is supposed to make sure that laptops are not exposed to liquids such as water. There are a lot of strategies one can use to keep their laptops secure. First, it is necessary to develop strong passwords that will make be hard for one to guess or hack. Passwords are used to deny access to one’s laptop or specific data. They help a lot if one has a shared laptop. Another way to secure your data is through encrypting the data. Laptop security concerning viruses and worms that may be malicious can be counteracted by use of anti-virus. These are programs designed to check and delete viruses, block harmful sites, and protect one from being hacked, among other benefits. Anti-virus can protect your data from being corrupted by viruses. Another way to improve the laptop security is through disabling your laptop from booting from CD or USB. It is possible for one to change or remove an account password with the help of programs designed to do so. The only way that is possible is through rebooting the laptop from either CD or USB. By disabling these properties, your laptop becomes more secure as getting access to your information becomes harder when they are disabled. In addition, one can also increase the security and deny access theory altering the BIOS system. BIOS password protects the laptop from being accessed by unauthorized party. In case one is using publicly accessible private network such as those offered by restaurants, airports and conference centers, there is increased insecurity from hackers. To make sure that your data is secure, it is important to use programs that encrypt data, such as Streamvia among others. This makes sure that the data when being transferred from one computer to another is encrypted, and in case an intruder gets access to it, it is hard for them to decrypt the data. Benefits of

Secure Laptops

Having secure laptops presents many benefits to the users. First, the data contained in the laptop is secure and one does not have to worry about hacking. When one is sure that their laptops are secure, they can confidently store their data. Secondly, the risks of being hacked and attacked by viruses and hackers are limited. When a laptop is secured with relevant programs and software, including anti-viruses and firewalls among others, it reduces the chance of being hacked.

Conclusion

Security is a major concern around the world. Laptop security has been exploited by many hackers who try to get access to data and personal information. Due to their portability and convenience, many people prefer using laptops for different purposes. To make sure that the data contained in the laptops is secured, the users are supposed to ensure security. This includes protecting laptops with passwords, disabling live boots from CDs and USB, and use of BIOS passwords among others. One is also supposed to take extra care when handling laptops, as they can easily break when mishandled. When all these guidelines are followed, the data stored in the laptops is safe and the user may feel confident.

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