Nowadays, we take our devices with us everywhere. We take them to our friend’s house, to work, to school, to the dentist, to the doctor, to food places, to drink, places—you get the point. Our devices are everywhere with us, and as a result, so is our information. This is especially made possible by the abundance of cheaper laptops that have recently hit the market as an effort to compete with the ever-growing tablet obsession. While laptops offer a far superior user experience and are much more powerful than tablets, they also come with higher security risks. This is not just limited to theft and damage, but also with the theft our personal data. When we log into our school networks, or networks at a friends house, things can get complicated. Because these networks are for all, meaning that they are unsecured, someone could easily hack into our systems and peek at all of our data files.

3 Ways to Prevent Unwanted Access in a Public Network

1. Ask if there is a password protected network in a public place.
2. Turn of file sharing/printer sharing from within the Control Panel.
3. Turn off network discovery from within in the Network Settings.

While these steps may not prevent a focused hacker from accessing your materials while sitting at Starbucks, it may quell the over-curious. We place a high value on the contents of our information and the integrity of these files vary based upon the content. But ask yourself a few important questions. Do you want your tax info available to all of Starbucks? Do you want the guy who sits next to you in English class to be able to access your files by simply looking at the shared folders on your computer over a network? The answer to these questions is ‘of course not’! Therefore, we must take extra precautions to make sure our public viewing experiences are as secure as possible. If you fear that your computer has been hacked in any way, please contact your nearest computer repair company.