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Laptop Security


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What do you feel is the safest way to secure your files on a laptop if it was stolen ??


Is windows user password OK would that protect your files




Using the password facility within the BIOS would that be better would they need to re-format the HD to clear this ?


I have a USB memory stick which i intend to use when and where possible its just if i forget, are the password protections given by windows XP or within the BIOS any good




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Can't answer your questions about which password protection route works best.  I do remember that an IBM I had a couple of years back had the warning that if you set the BIOS password, and then forgot it, you'd have to send the laptop back to IBM! 

Can be a problem if the laptop goes wrong, since no-one can get into it without your password, and once you've given them that, they can get into all your files if so minded. 

The best advice, surely, is not to go away with a laptop that contains anything sensitive.  Just a bit of holiday planning guff and your photos.  Back everything else up onto an external hard drive, or another computer, before you leave home, and then delete everything else from the laptop.  You can always copy it all back when you return.

That way, apart from the inconvenience of the loss, all that goes is the laptop.

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Hi Brian


I would certainly remove anything of a sensitive nature before taking my laptop on holiday. Either save to an external hard drive, disc or memory stick and leave which ever you use at home, preferably in the safe.


I use a memory stick which is password protected when away. Being small it is easy to hide in the van and contains address book and contact details etc.

Afraid I cannot help regarding the security of windows when using a password.

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Hi Brian,


The Windows password is about as much use as a chocolate fireguard, there are several freeware programmes that will tell anyone using them what it is and in any case if you are someone that understands Windows there are ways into Windows that don't use your password and once in they can look at your password where it is locked in the Windows systems files.

The BIOS password is the more secure but don't forget it, and anyway even that can be wiped it is just a little more difficult so that your average Joe Bloggs isn't able to do it. Also the BIOS password doesn't stop someone taking your hard drive out of your machine and reading it with another there are programmes that can extract your files from your hard drive without ever having to run Windows or your computer.

So at the end of the day nothing is secure so don't take anything away that you don't want others who could take your laptop to see.




P.S The supposedly uncrackable Vista install code was cracked and pirate copies were available within 24 hrs of release, nothing can be made completely secure.

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Brian ,

He goes with Bazil and tonyshuk. The most secure way of keeping sensitive files but NOT protecting the computer itself is an external Zip drive each disc can be password protected but it comes at a cost.


The BIOS will prevent people from browsing as it wont allow the system to boot up BUT if they have a mind they can easliy remove your hard drive and read elsewhere .


So keep it safe



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