§ Set A Password
Prior to all other things, set a password on your Windows account. A laptop without a password is like an open invitation for hackers. After securing your account with a password, whenever anyone turns on your laptop he has to give password before proceeding any further. Make sure you select a password which is uncommon and unpredictable by your friends. It is better to use numbers, capital letters and special character all in one password.
§ Hard Drive Encryption
If you’ve lost your laptop or someone stole it then the easiest way to access all your data is to remove the hard drive from your laptop and attach it to another one. This way all your passwords and codes will be useless, so the best way to secure your data is by encrypting hard drive. By encrypting a hard drive you get a key or a PIN code and your data is inaccessible until and unless you provide that PIN code. BitLocker an added utility given in Windows let you encrypt your entire drive.
§ Disable CD and USB Booting
Some free programs like Pogostick and Ophcrack are used by a lot of hacker for removing or guessing passwords. But these programs need to boot up through a CD or a USB. To keep your laptop protected from such software it is essential to disable the option to boot from one of these devices. It is quite simple to do, all you have to do is makes some changes in your laptop’s input/output system (BIOS). By protecting BIOS with a password you can make sure no one can override these settings.
§ Use VPN
While using publically open networks in airports, restaurants and hotels we never pay attention to the fact that these open networks presents security risks to our devices. Cain and Abel, Wireshark or Ettercap are those programs which assist hackers in eavesdropping on emails or copying your passwords from open networks. It is better to protect your sensitive data by encrypting it while it is in transit between your computer and your office network by using a VPN. If you don’t have a company’s VPN then some service providers like StreamVia or StrongVPN can give it to you.