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Security for personal computing: Defend your identity and data


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By Susan Twombly, October 2009

Today, PC security isn’t just about protecting your information from loss or damage. It’s about protecting your identity from people who attempt to use or sell your personal data for their personal gain.

Whether your PC is sitting at home on a desktop or at your side on the road, you need protection and privacy for your personal data – everything from bank account and credit card numbers to photos, videos, music and files.

The good news is that HP already provides simple ways for you to step up security on your HP desktop and notebook PCs. Here are a few examples of how HP can help you safeguard your data, defend it against loss and theft and recover it quickly if the unexpected occurs.

Fortify your protection

Activate your virus-protection software. This can be your first line of defense against threats that put your personal data at risk. To help make your PCs less vulnerable, most HP consumer desktop and notebook PCs ship with a pre-installed 60-day subscription of Norton Internet Security Software. (1)

This security software regularly scans your PCs and documents to help protect them from the viruses, worms and other malicious code that seeks to steal, corrupt or destroy your personal data. The new version, Norton Internet Security 2010, is expected to be available for shipment on HP desktop and notebook PCs by the end of 2009. It’s designed to help stop online identity theft, halt attacks before they get to your PC and identify unsafe web sites in your search results.

Turn on automatic updates. Using the automatic update features within your software is a wise and easy way to help maintain protection against known security vulnerabilities and new threats that emerge every day. So, turn on the automatic update options in your virus software, as well as in Microsoft Windows Update and in updates offered by HP.

Control access. Select HP notebooks have a fingerprint reader to help guard against unauthorized access to your data. Instead of using a password that someone may steal or having to remember different passwords for different accounts, a quick swipe of your finger identifies you and logs you onto your system: One swipe and you’re in! Since your fingerprint is unique, only you can access your notebook this way.


But access control isn’t just for the road, and it’s not just for strangers. Whether your PC is a desktop or a notebook, sometimes the sites your family members visit – and the files they share and download – can put your computer and data at risk. The parental controls within Windows® Vista(2) and the new Windows® 7(3) operating system can help you manage how each family member uses each PC, the games they play and the programs they run

Build in loss prevention from the start

Cushion data in motion. HP notebook PCs are made to help withstand the rigors of your mobile life. With HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection, you can add another layer of protection. Available on select HP Pavilion notebooks, HP ProtectSmart automatically locks your hard drive when needed to help protect your data from loss or corruption.

RAID your desktop PC. Redundant Arrays of Independent Disks (RAID) technology automatically reads and writes data to two PC hard drives simultaneously, so you have the same data on both drives. Even if one drive fails, the data is on the other drive is still available. Look for this option when you configure your HP desktop PC – and bring new levels of data protection to the personal information you’d hate to lose.

Backup, breathe easy and recover

Go external. The HP Pocket Media Drive can make backing up your files easy, so you can worry less about data loss. It’s an external USB storage device that can be used on either desktop or notebook PCs, If something happens to your PC data and you’ve backed up your files on the external drive, you can retrieve and reload them quickly to get on with your day.

Look for an HP desktop PC with an integrated pocket media drive. Just slip the pocket device into the bay and you can backup up as much as 500GB of data. (About 85,000 images, 100,000 songs, and more than 300 hours of video!(4)) Or, plug it into your notebook to backup data without adding a bulky hard drive – this HP Pocket Media Drive is as small as a wallet.

Automate backups. Backup automatically with the Norton Online Backup solution. This service can help you sleep better at night knowing that a copy of your documents, photos, music, videos and more are stored online in an off-site, security-enhanced facility. If your PC data is lost or corrupted, you can recover it quickly online. Even if your PC is damaged or lost, you can access and restore files from a web-enabled PC, at home or away.

Create recovery disks. HP Backup and Recovery Manager, installed on all HP consumer notebook and desktop PCs, allows you to easily create a set of system recovery discs. If a critical system failure occurs, it prompts you to backup your data before using the disks to bring your PC back to its original factory image. Then, you can reload your data from your backup drive.

Help locate your lost or stolen notebook. LoJack® for Laptops is a software-based theft recovery option that is available for purchase when you order select HP notebooks. It can help track, locate and recover your missing notebook, even if the disk is wiped. If needed, a remote data delete feature can help you remove personal information to help protect your identity and privacy.

To activate the LoJack service, you can buy a subscription when you configure your notebook on If you purchased your HP notebook at a retail store, you can still buy your LoJack subscription from HP.

Safeguard what’s yours

There’s nothing more personal than your data: It’s reflects your work life, your family life and your social life. Whether you’re sitting at home or sipping coffee at a Wi-Fi(5) hot spot, HP can help you protect it from loss, theft and attack – to help keep your personal data private and your identity, your own.

(1) Currently ships pre-installed with Norton Internet Security 2009. Pre-installed shipments of Norton Internet Security 2010 on HP consumer desktop and notebooks PCs is expected to begin by late 2009. Customers who purchase Norton Internet Security 2009 will receive an automatic upgrade to 2010 when they register.

2 Certain Windows Vista product features require advanced or additional hardware. See Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor can help you determine which features of Windows Vista will run on your computer. To download the tool, visit non-hp site

3 Systems may require upgraded and/or separately purchased hardware and/or a DVD drive to install the Windows® 7 software and take full advantage of Windows® 7 functionality. See Microsoft non-hp site for details.

4 HP pocket media drive: Photo capacity based on average compressed .jpg size of 5MB/image @4MP. Music capacity based on 4 minutes per song and 128-Kbps AAC encoding. Video capacity based on standard NTSC recording format on ‘fair’ mode, recording times may vary.

5 Wireless access point and Internet service required, not included. Availability of public wireless access points limited.

Related links:

» Learn how to make your PC more secure
» HP Preferred Customer Center for Norton from Symantec non-hp site
» Special MacAfee offers for HP customers non-hp site
» Microsoft Online Safety Information non-hp site
» Windows Vista security features non-hp site
» Learn about Windows 7 and the Windows® 7 Upgrade Option Program from HP ©
» HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection
» Understanding RAID technology
» HP Pavilion Desktop PC with RAID configuration available
» HP Pocket Media Drives
» Norton Online Backup Services non-hp site
» HP desktop PCs for the home or home office
» HP laptop and tablet PCs for the home or home office

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