There are multiple security measures in place on each work laptop to ensure that confidential company information remains within the organisation.
When you begin working for a company, you must disable all personal protections on your phone and computer to eliminate the possibility of illegal access.
However, after you leave the organisation, it becomes more difficult to balance work and personal obligations.
The laptop’s restrictions prevent the installation of third-party software and the use of other devices, such as flash drives, which may be necessary for common tasks such as watching movies, listening to music, editing documents, etc.
There is a remedy to this problem, and it involves altering your work laptop. Here are several methods for transforming your work laptop into a personal one.
There are multiple methods for converting a work laptop into a personal one.
The simplest method is to remove all work-related data and restore factory settings. This will uninstall all company-required software, transforming your computer into a totally personal device.
If you choose to retain certain applications or files, however, you can disable the security settings on your laptop so that all third-party software and flash drives are compatible with it.
#1. Disable Windows Defender
Antivirus software, such as Microsoft Security Essentials, will be preinstalled on your computer, but it will not be enough to secure your data.
To ensure that everything is secure while working for the organisation, you require a multitude of antivirus software.
These antivirus scanners ensure that no dangerous software enters the computer and safeguard it from ransomware, spyware, and other threats.
However, when working for a business, data security is crucial, so installing various antivirus products is advised.
However, you do not require these security measures if you are self-employed or if you are using your work laptop after leaving the organisation.
These antivirus security applications consume a great deal of processing power and memory, which might cause your computer to run slowly.
The best course of action is to uninstall any additional antivirus software and enable Windows Defender, which is a built-in security protection feature for the Windows operating system.
Enabling Windows Defender will safeguard your browser against harmful applications and websites. Additionally, it guards against ransomware and other forms of malware as well as spyware.
#2. Use TrueCrypt To Encrypt Data
TrueCrypt enables you to encrypt all of the data on your work laptop, rendering it inaccessible to outsiders without valid authorisation.
It is free and open-source programme that can encrypt files, folders, drives, and even entire partitions.
You can save all of your sensitive data in a virtual encrypted disc within a file.
For convenience, you can save the encrypted files on a USB drive or email them to yourself.
Furthermore, TrueCrypt can be used to construct a disguised operating system within your existing OS.
Without proper authority from you, the hijacker or thief will be unable to enter this virtual environment.
#3. Disable Windows Firewall
To protect company data, your work laptop will have numerous security features in place.
One of these is the firewall, which stops hackers from remotely accessing your system.
It is suggested that you disable Windows Firewall if you are using a public wifi connection or working on a computer that anybody may access.
If you use public Wi-Fi, turn off the firewall to prevent your system from being hacked.
#4. Use Portable Applications
Since your laptop has no work constraints, why not make full use of it by installing all third-party applications?
You will save time if you do not have to install these applications later.
All you have to do is save the portable version of your favourite software on a pen drive or network-attached storage and utilise it from there as needed.
It makes more sense to have all of your third-party software in one place rather than strewn over multiple discs in your system.
#5. Disable Windows Updates
At work, you’ll have to constantly updating your computer every day when new patches and security updates are released.
This may be necessary when using the work laptop, but it is not essential after you leave the corporation.
Simply disable Windows Updates to avoid wasting time installing all of the updates every week or month.
You can always upgrade your system later if necessary.
#6. Use Virtual Machines
Virtual machines are another method of securing your data when you leave the firm or utilise it for personal purposes.
These virtual machines make it simple to run many instances of Windows on a single computer.
Simply install VirtualBox, a free virtual machine software, and construct several versions of Windows OS for personal use.
You can also build a distinct work environment within your present operating system to access all of the critical data.
#7. Use BitLocker To Secure Data
BitLocker is another Windows security feature that encrypts whole hard drive partitions.
Just right-click on the drive you want to encrypt and choose Turn on BitLocker from the menu.
You can also store the recovery keys on a USB drive in case your hard drive gets broken or stolen.
#8. Use Portable Apps For Encryption
Using TrueCrypt to encrypt files and folders is a good way to do it, but it’s not as easy as using portable apps.
So, you can easily encrypt any data on your work laptop with software from a third party before sending it home or sending it to someone else.
This is a lot like TrueCrypt, but it uses different ways to keep data safe.
Just download the encryption software you want and put it on a USB drive or send it to yourself in an email.
Later, when you get home from work, you can install the app on your personal laptop and use the encrypted files without having to encrypt them again.
#9. Use Steganography Software
Steganography is a way to hide information in a picture so that no one can find it.
In other words, you can use this software to hide private photos from people who want to look into your life.
You just need to download the Steganography software and take secret pictures when needed.
Later, turn these pictures into encrypted files and send them to your own email address or store them on a USB drive that you can use on your own laptop.
#10. Use Self-Destructing Message Apps
Here’s one more way to keep work data safe.
You just need to download software that lets you send messages that automatically delete themselves from the internet and set a time and date after which the messages will be erased.
Keep all the messages on a USB drive so you can use them on your own laptop without having to delete them from your system.
By encrypting them with Steganography software, they can be sent to anyone without risk.
#11. Use Cached Data On Your Personal Laptop
Install third-party apps on your personal laptop whenever you need to while working on the company computer.
When you’re at work, you can use them for work-related tasks, but when you get home, all you have to do is close the app in its native mode.
The next time you turn on your computer with that app installed, it will only take a few seconds to open the app because it is already cached on your personal laptop.
#12. Create A Separate User Account
Even though this might not be required, you can make another user account and sign in as that user when you need to do something that needs to be secure.
You can use any password or sign-in method you want, and when you need to, it will switch to your main account.
The main account won’t be able to see anything you do for yourself.
#13. Use Virtual Machines For Personal Activities
Yes, using virtual machines is a simple way to run two different operating systems on the same computer.
You can create virtual machines in your current operating system and use them to run a completely different operating system.
For example, you can use Windows 8 Professional on your work laptop and create another virtual machine to use Windows XP or 7.
The main account in Windows 8 won’t be able to see what you do in your personal life. The only thing that will be visible, if anything, will be the virtual machine in Windows 8.
#14. Use Quick Boot Updater To Disable Fast Startup
If you have the option to turn off quick boot-up, you can save a lot of time when going from your work laptop to your personal laptop.
Most computer makers use this feature to make computers start up faster, but sometimes, even when you are logged into your main account, your system will start up faster than usual.
This can let your IT Managers or Bosses know about your personal life if they have the skills to hack into your laptop.
So, turn off this feature if you have more than one account on the same computer.
#15. Change Work Profile To A Guest Mode
Companies set up work profiles on some computers so that employees can use them for work while keeping the IT department from seeing what they do on them for fun.
So, if you have access to a work profile, you can hide your private information in three different ways.
First, go to the Guest account’s installation directory and delete everything there.
Install a virtual machine to run Windows XP or Windows 7 on that account later, and then set it up as a Guest account.
This way, the main account won’t be able to see what you do for fun.
#16. Create A New Theme For The Guest Account
You can give your guest operating system a new look by changing things like the colour of its windows, the picture on its desktop, etc.
So, when you switch to this account, you won’t get tired of seeing the same old things.
How to do it is outside the scope of this tutorial, so you’ll have to look online for tutorials on how to use 3rd party apps to change the themes on Windows XP or Windows 7.
Once you’re done, no one will be able to see what you do unless they log into that account.
#17. Password Protect Folders And Files With Steganography App
With a steganography app for Windows, you can hide your own files and folders.
You can’t do this any other way because anyone who has physical access to the computer can still see all the data unless you protect it with a password.
You can do a quick search online to find out what steganography is and how it works if you don’t know.
There are many apps that support this feature, and Wavesteg is one of them.
After you set up a password, a text message will be hidden inside a.wav file in the folder you choose.
You can make as many random files as you want, or you can put many messages in a single.wav file.
Now, if someone tries to open this folder, they will be asked for a password. This won’t happen with any other folders.
#18. Password Protect USB Flash Drives For Personal Files
If you have a password-protected secure flash drive, you can use it to keep your personal files on your laptop safe.
This way, no one can get to them unless they know their password.
One of the most important things that every employee should know is that if you don’t encrypt your personal files, anyone who has physical access to your computer can get to them without knowing their names.
#19. Open Private Browsing Window For Privacy On Shared Computers
You can take a few precautions to protect your personal information when using a public computer, the first and easiest being to switch to private browsing mode.
In order to do this, launch Firefox, Internet Explorer, or your preferred web browser, and go to the security settings menu.
Please switch to a private window in your browser.
Thus, no one else using the same computer as you will be able to view the websites you are browsing or the documents you have open in a previous session.
#20. Turn On File And Printer Sharing
If you’re the last one left in the workplace or using a public computer, you can lock down your data so that no one else can see it.
Unless file sharing is already enabled, no data transmitted over a wireless network is encrypted.
To activate this function, simply change the settings in the Control Panel’s Network and Internet section.
On some machines, you may need to click Network Connections before you can access Wireless Network Connection.
At this point, a dialogue will appear, presumably asking whether you want to allow file-sharing to take place.
Check that the wireless network is turned on and that you are connected to it if it does not appear.
With this, your data will be encrypted before being sent over the network, making it impossible for anyone to read it unless they also use the same encryption key.
#21. Set Up VPN Connection For Online Banking And Shopping
The simplicity of this approach belies its efficacy, though.
Establishing a VPN connection and entering your credentials are the only steps required.
The next step is to enter the IP address of your bank or preferred online store.
All of your sensitive information, such as passwords and credit card numbers, can now be entered without fear.