What are the Concerns with Netbook Security?
Netbooks are small computers designed like miniature laptops, typically with a display around 10 inches (25 cm) or less. They are very light and designed to be easily portable, and though lacking in the processing power of a full-size laptop, a netbook is a great choice for browsing the web and checking email. Of course, as with any computer, there are some inherent security concerns. Netbook security issues do not differ greatly from the security concerns with any other laptop computer, except with regards to size.
One of the main netbook security concerns is theft. Netbooks are small and light, and easy to slip into a bag. For this reason, it is important to always keep careful watch of a netbook, and to carry it in a bag that does not immediately identify it as a laptop. In addition, there are netbook locks available that may temporarily attach the netbook to a table, for example. The netbook should still not be left unattended, but a lock such as this can add some extra netbook security and prevent someone from simply grabbing the computer and walking away with it.
As mentioned above, though laptop bags are convenient, they also communicate to potential thieves that the bag contains computer equipment. A regular briefcase or tote bag can be a better choice for carrying a netbook, because it will just look like a regular bag. Aside from physical netbook security, other security concerns are quite similar to a laptop.
Since the netbook will be accessing the web, it is important to install antivirus software on the computer, as well as anti-spyware if desired. A firewall can add some additional netbook security too. Netbook security is largely a matter of common sense, however. For example, do not connect to a network that is not trusted. Public networks, such as those in airports or coffee shops, can be convenient, but be mindful not to share sensitive information over the network as might happen when accessing a bank account.
When browsing the web, do not click on any suspicious links, which could invite a virus onto the netbook. Some people choose to encrypt the data on their netbooks to prevent unauthorized access should the netbook be lost or stolen. A preliminary measure might include simply setting a password to log on to the computer; though this will not prevent an experienced hacker from accessing sensitive data, it may least protect it from less sophisticated thieves.
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