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Why Password Protection Is Important.


Password Protection

As you may or may not know Computer Solutions are often hired in to carry out expert work in the workshops of other local computer companies. We are always surprised at the number of laptops that arrive with absolutely no password protection whatsoever, as a case earlier this week demonstrated perfectly.

Computer Solutions were called out to the Mitchell Family in Claverdon, nr Warwick as the Son's father was concerned that his Son's new girlfriend seemed to somehow know everything about the Son's movements all of the time.

The father was worried that the Son's girlfriend may have put some sort of "keylogging" software, on the laptop and called us in to check. Keyloggers are small programs which record the keys that you press and store them in a file for retrieval later.

Quite often they are used in the creation of malware. If you did not know about them, you would not know they were on your machine.

We did not find anything suspicious on the laptop but it was fairly obvious as too why it was very easy to track the Son's movements.

Firstly there was no password on the laptop at all and secondly the default user account was set as an "Administrator", giving anyone access to anything on the whole machine. It is surprising how many people set administrator accounts, without realizing the consequences of doing so.

In the majority of 'home user' cases there is no need to be an administrator all of the time. Of course there are times when 'administrator rights' are necessary but most of the time 'standard user rights' will suffice and it affords some protection.

The other problem with this laptop is that it was easy for this person to track the Son's movements as he had saved all his website logins in Firefox and Internet Explorer and more worryingly had used the same password on each one. This is probably the most common mistake.

Why not just store the different passwords in a cheap very low value mobile phone from eBay and keep it with you ? That way, being a cheap phone, it won't be much value to a thief but it will be of great value to you !

We managed to set a particularly difficult password on this laptop and advised accordingly. We also set up a second account for the Son's partner so she would have no need to be logged into his account at all.

To change user account settings, click start, click control panel and click users or user accounts and follow the directions from there.

 

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