The pandemic has made many of us discover or rekindle a passion for gaming. A powerful gaming laptop means you don’t have to drop the hobby even if you’re on the move. Caring for such a laptop presents several security challenges, though.
Here are eight tips on keeping your laptop secure. Some deal with its physical safety, while others focus on your security and privacy.
Get a Kensington Lock
Laptops are a favorite target for thieves. The large heat exhausts and flashy RGB make expensive gaming laptops stick out. Using a Kensington lock is the perfect way to prevent someone from stealing yours. While one end of the lock fits into the slot on your laptop, the other end is attachable to sturdy objects.
You simply loop the other end of the lock, for example, around a table leg. If someone tries to snatch the laptop, they’ll yank on the cable and be unsuccessful.
Use or Improvise a Camera Privacy Shutter
The pandemic prompted manufacturers to build webcams into almost all gaming laptops. Unfortunately, only some have privacy shutters. While unlikely, hackers can bypass the activity LED and take control of the camera. This is called camfecting.
You should keep the built-in shutter active when not using the camera. If you don’t have one, a piece of tape is all it takes.
Start Managing Your Passwords
It seems like almost every publisher has a launcher these days. Add any MMO, social media, or other important accounts, and you have a security risk just waiting to happen.
A password manager replaces all of that. It generates countless complex, secure passwords for all your accounts, each unique. A master password is the only thing you need to remember, and how hard could that be?
Use Two-Factor Authentication for Your Accounts
Strong passwords are great and all, but what if someone finds out your master password?
That’s why enabling 2FA is essential in keeping your game accounts secure. Linking an account with a mobile number takes little time, and entering the codes is barely a hassle. Plus, unwanted 2FA triggers are good indicators of password or email theft.
Back Your Data Up Through Cloud Storage
Only keeping a single copy of your most important files is a bad idea. Someone could steal the laptop, or you might fry it while playing Cyberpunk on max settings. A cloud service makes your files accessible from anywhere.
Cloud storage services encrypt your data, making it more secure than on an unprotected SSD. Many also offer plans with more storage space than you get on cheaper laptops.
Access the Internet Through VPN
Free WiFi is everywhere, but it’s also a security hazard. It’s easy for hackers to log onto it and steal any sensitive info you type in when using that connection. A VPN can help you out with this.
What a VPN does is solve the issue of an unsecured network by encrypting your connection and preventing your IP address from being visible. This hides your activities from snoops. It also lets you share private data or payment information only you and the receiving party can access.
Don’t Trust Strangers with Your Info
We experience the best gaming memories alongside our friends. A raiding buddy or clan mate might be fun to hang with, but never forget they’re a stranger. Most gamers have enough sense not to give up their account details outright. Even so, you never know if someone is keeping track of your off-hand remarks.
Some of these might include answers to security questions like your first dog’s name. Be aware of the info others know about you. Ensure that they can’t use anything you share to compromise your security.
Treat Unusual Official-Looking Mail with Suspicion
Gaming companies usually send countless legitimate messages, from newsletters to password reset confirmations. Criminals take advantage of this, creating official-looking emails that mimic original templates. It’s called phishing, a well-known technique hackers use to seize your data.
They’ll claim there’s some problem with your account, which you can only resolve by clicking on a link. Following these links usually results in lost login info and stolen in-game items you spent years collecting. Some may even install malware on your laptop and wreak havoc with your data.
From running AAA games to beating friends in online shootouts, there’s little you can’t do with a gaming laptop. It’s an expensive investment you’ll want to keep an eye on and protect. On top of that, a laptop comes with all the security challenges you’d expect from a desktop PC. Having that in mind and taking appropriate steps will ensure extended use and peace of mind.