Tips to se­cure e-learn­ing gad­gets

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Cool Lifestyle - Shep­herd Chimu­ruri Cool Life­style Cor­re­spon­dent Shep­herd Chimu­ruri ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor — Dzidzo In­haka Au­dio Vis­ual Learn­ing, Mo­bile:+263 772 608 276 dzid­zoin­haka@gmail.com, www.dzid­zoin­haka.co.zw

IT IS purely hu­man na­ture that ev­ery progress is met by ret­ro­gres­sive chal­lenges un­der the au­thor­ship of so­cial mal­con­tents. If due se­cu­rity care is not taken I bet my last dol­lar achieve­ments in the ac­qui­si­tion of e-learn­ing gad­gets are go­ing to be quickly turned into re­grets, in­vest­ment is turned into loss, friends and fam­i­lies are turned into foes, teach­ers and class­mates are turned into com­plainants and de­fen­dants and prin­ci­pals of­fices turned into court rooms.

Al­ways think se­cu­rity be­fore you even buy tech­no­log­i­cal gad­gets be­cause thieves will never give you time to or­gan­ise it. You ei­ther have it or you do not have. The more lay­ers of se­cu­rity you have, the bet­ter the odds your gad­gets can be pro­tected suc­cess­fully from in­tru­sion or theft.

Fol­low these tips and tech­niques to pro­tect your e-learn­ing gad­gets mostly the lap­top against theft, in­tru­sion and data loss. Se­cu­rity mea­sures you can im­ple­ment can vary from ma­chines. Some in­volve hard­ware like fin­ger­print read­ers, some in­volve soft­ware and some in­volve noth­ing more than us­ing your head like strong pass­words.

For a start never leave your lap­top in a pub­lic place. If you take your lap­top into li­braries or class­rooms, do not leave it alone, even just for a minute while you go to the rest-room or talk with a friend. Thieves look for such op­por­tu­ni­ties. If you do leave your lap­top in a pub­lic place, lock it up with a note­book lock. Never leave your lap­top unat­tended, even for a mo­ment, even in your of­fice or dorm room. Most lap­tops are stolen from their owner’s of­fice, while the owner is on a quick break.

If you must leave your lap­top in a car, stow your bag in the trunk be­fore you reach your des­ti­na­tion so po­ten­tial thieves do not see you. Make sure your car is locked. Avoid set­ting your lap­top on the floor. Putting your lap­top on the floor is an easy way to for­get or lose track of it. If you have to set it down, try to place it be­tween your feet or against your leg so you are al­ways aware it is there.

Noth­ing guts like to find that your bat­tery no longer saves power soon af­ter col­lect­ing your lap­top from re­pair. Be warned most ser­vice­men are also in the busi­ness of sell­ing bat­ter­ies so they ex­changes with worn our bat­ter­ies. The tip is put a phys­i­cal mark and note down the se­rial num­ber of both the bat­tery and the lap­top as well. Writ­ing down the se­rial num­ber of your ma­chine is an­other layer of se­cu­rity when it comes to re­cov­ery.

En­sure that your Win­dows ac­count is pro­tected with a pass­word. The lap­top should be con­fig­ured so that the pass­word has to be en­tered ev­ery time you turn the ma­chine on or when it comes out of hi­ber­na­tion, sleep or screen­saver mode. The trick is to pick a pass­word that means some­thing to you and that has a de­gree of com­plex­ity to it, but which most any­one else — even some­one with some knowl­edge about you — will have a hard time guess­ing.

If your lap­top comes equipped with a fin­ger­print reader that is an­other layer of pro­tec­tion you can use. Fin­ger­print read­ers com­ple­ment ex­ist­ing ways to se­cure a sys­tem and they can be used to log on in­stead of a pass­word.

En­cryp­tion is an­other form of se­cu­rity which can range from sim­ply en­crypt­ing in­di­vid­ual files to en­crypt­ing the en­tire con­tents of the sys­tem disk. Win­dows has long had on-disk en­cryp­tion for in­di­vid­ual files and fold­ers, but now fea­tures the na­tive abil­ity to en­crypt the sys­tem drive it­self which in­clude the op­er­at­ing sys­tem, ap­pli­ca­tions and data.

To en­sure that no-one can over­ride these set­tings, pass­word-pro­tect the BIOS so that no more changes can be made to it with­out en­ter­ing the pass­word. This can also be con­fig­ured in the BIOS set­tings. If your lap­top is stolen there is usu­ally noth­ing to stop the thief from re­mov­ing your hard drive and at­tach­ing it to an­other com­puter. Do­ing this by­passes any ac­count pass­word pro­tec­tion and al­lows them to ac­cess your data eas­ily.

The best way to pre­vent this is to en­crypt your lap­top’s hard drives. En­crypted drives can only be ac­cessed af­ter the en­cryp­tion key is supplied — usu­ally in the form of a PIN, a pass­word or by in­sert­ing a USB stick con­tain­ing the key. If you carry a USB mem­ory stick to make back­ups of your work or store other data, it is im­por­tant to make sure that it is as se­cure as the data on your lap­top.

Al­ways think se­cu­rity be­fore you even buy tech­no­log­i­cal gad­gets

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