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How to protect your stolen laptop from thieves

At first the sentence “How to protect your stolen laptop from thieves” doesn’t make sense. After all, if it’s already stolen, how can you protect it? The answer is that by encrypting your computer now, you can keep it safe in the future.

If you’ve encrypted your hard drive – or at least put a password lock on your computer – you can prevent thieves from accessing your private data and potentially using it to steal your money or commit identity fraud.

If you think your never going to fall victim to computer theft, look at the following video to see just how easy it is to have your computer stolen:

If the computer stolen in the video didn’t have a password, the thieves would not just have gained a valuable computer, but also access to the victim’s personal data, including pictures, documents and online accounts.

Protecting your PC

There are different levels of protection for computers, but this week we’ll cover a simple one: how to password-protect your system. The following methods take under five minutes and could save you a lot of trouble in the future:

How to add a password to Windows 8

  • Press the Windows key and the letter C on your keyboard (at the same time)
  • Choose “Change PC Settings” from the right-hand menu
  • Choose “Users”
  • Click the “Create a password” button
  • Now choose your password! Simple.

How to add a password to Windows 7/Vista

  • Click Start and then choose “Control Panel”
  • Click “User Accounts and Family Safety”
  • Click on “User Accounts”
  • In “Make changes to your user account”, click “Create a password for your account”
  • Enter a password, and you’re done!

How to add a password to Mac OSX

  • Click the Apple icon in the top left corner of the screen
  • Choose “System Preferences”
  • In the “System” tab, choose Accounts
  • Now click “Login Options” and change the dropdown in “Automatic login” to “Off” (if this option is un-selectable, click the padlock in the bottom left and enter your password).
  • Click the Guest Account and uncheck the boxes “Allow guests to login to this computer” and “Allow guests to connect to shared folders”.

That’s it – it really is that simple. Come back in a few weeks when we’ll go into more detail about other types of encryption, which can make your computer even more theft-proof.

Related article: some advice on choosing a password Why you shouldn’t use the same password

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