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safeguarding my whole computer


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#1
Walker

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When I got back from class today I noticed someone had tampered with my screen and tried to pry open my front window. This is definitely not a great feeling, but I figured I could make myself feel a little safer by taking precautions in case things get stolen.

I realize that my computer holds a lot of personal information, and I think I have all the stuff protected that I need to. But, I am sure there are some things I wasn't able to protect, or forgot too.

My question is: How can I password protect my whole computer?I am talking about making it so whenever someone turns on the computer there is no way to access ANYTHING without a password. I never have used windows log on, but I would think that you could get by that anyway by logging on as a guest.

If someone steals my computer I don't want them to be able to see anything about me, or anything that I have done in the past. If I had this security measure I would definitely feel safer about my information.


Thanks a lot!
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#2
HPDV8315LOVER

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Well, You can enither put a password on the boot up part through BIOS or you can put a password on windows.
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#3
Walker

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So the password on BIOS would prevent anyone from accessing my computer completely? I am just making sure that they would have no way to gain access to my hard drive.
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#4
Johanna

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If someone has physical access to your computer, you can discourage unauthorized activity, but you cannot prevent it. Encryption could keep the casual snoop out. A strong password in your BIOS or for Windows would make it hard (read: take more time) to get at your data, but not impossible. You might consider storing your most personal info on a flash drive and keeping it in your pocket, but don't lose it. If I find it laying in the parking lot, I might decide to see if it still works...follow me? You could buy a removable drive and store it away from your computer, and plug it in when you want to use the private info. If the FBI wants your data, you're outta luck unless you destroy your hard drive by crushing or burning it. I have unlimited access to my kids' computers, and there is no way they could keep their privacy without my respect.

Repair your window, lock your doors. Install motion detector lights, live next to a curious old lady with binoculars, and get a dog. (Even a small dog deters "breaking and entering" crimes.) Don't let mail or newspapers pile up outside. Keep an erratic schedule.

If you have an OEM computer, change the real admin password. Most are blank by default. Not the admin privelege account you use, but the real admin account. Hit Control-Alt-Delete twice at the welcome screen and type "administrator" as the user. I have saved tons of files for people who got locked out of their own accounts by logging in as the real admin, and most feel kinda foolish when they see how easy that trick is. Never leave your computer "logged on", even if you're only leaving for a short time.
Hope this helps.
Johanna
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#5
SRX660

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The reason computers came out with bios passwords was because businesses needed to prevent people from getting crucial information about the business from stolen laptops. I remember many years ago a business went out of business because a competitor had a salesman's laptop computer stolen so they could get the customer base list and could then go directly after their customers.

The only problem i see with bios passwords is what is stopping someone from joining a forum like this one to find out how to defeat bios passwords.

http://labmice.techt...s/BIOS_hack.htm

That said, it is a method to lock out the casual thief.

http://www.lockdown....spsw&s=articles

Real security is a extreme thing. I have a business that had me set up a server with a dvd burner. Every day they burn a DVD with all the account information for everything they do that day. A second dvd is used to hold all account information. This second dvd is updated when accounts are added or subtracted. The owner will not keep any of this information on the server and reinstalls the information every morning before the office opens up. Is it overkill? It may be, but he does know that only 2 people have real access to all this information and i am the other person(which really has no interest whatsoever) and he transports the dvd's himself.

There are encryption programs you can use for complete security if necessary. But i say a cd with text files of your passwords and files you don't want others to see would do just as well as any other method.

SRX660
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#6
Johanna

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LOL...you haven't told the owner the files are still on the computer even though he "deletes" them? You let him go through all that burning every day? He'd be safer to use encryption and leave it on the hard drive, but having a backup in a separate location is not a bad idea, because if there is a fire, and the cds were in the table under the computer...poof! It's all gone.
Johanna
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#7
Walker

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i say a cd with text files of your passwords and files you don't want others to see would do just as well as any other method.



I was thinking about this too, but the thing that bothers me is the personal information scattered around my computer that I don't know of really. If I had a folder with everything that I wanted to be protected, I would just burn that onto a cd-rw or something and update it every once in awhile. I think I am just going to go with the BIOS pass, but it frustrates me to know that someone could just hop on this forum and get past it somehow.

You would think there would be some solution, where I could put a password on my computer that is completely impossible to bypass without knowing the pw.

Edited by Walker, 26 October 2006 - 10:27 PM.

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