laptop security

Biometric Devices and Laptop Security

Biometric devices maybe the silver bullet that finally kill the password.

biometric device

Whether logging onto a laptop computer, a network or a web site you need to recall a password and possibly a dozen or more in the course of a day. Are your passwords strong and unique?

Few people know how to come up with memorable passwords that are also strong and unique. It's a skill that is rarely taught. Typical responses to the challenge include:

  • Using one or just a few "old faithful" passwords for every situation.
  • Post-it Note stuck to the laptop lid - "Yes!" - works every time

The situation has become absurd. Every on-line banking, shopping, travel, membership ... site requires a password. Password hackers love it, they are hardly ever challenged by a unique - strong password. Biometric technology is the solution. Always unique and impossible to forget. Furthermore, they are now affordable.

Biometrics can also be used in conjunction with other technologies, for example PINS, keys or tokens to achieve a further layer of security.

What are biometric devices? They are devices that use the human body as a key to providing secure access to rooms, buildings, laptops ... , in fact just about anything. Identity is established by an examination of: fingerprints, voice, iris, hands, face, keystrokes, heart beat, vascular patterns, gait, smell ... basically any intrinsic physical or behavioral characteristic.

The debate continues as to which is the best and in which circumstances.

Sales of biometric systems took off after 9/11. Both government and business committed to heavy investment in security and in particular biometric security. According to a recent article in Forbes, annual sales of biometric security systems grew from $300 million in 2001 to $2.2 billion in 2006, with projections of $6 billion by 2010.

In the laptop computer space the most common biometric devices and applications include:

Lenovo has sold in excess of a million laptops incorporating integrated biometric fingerprint readers.

We are now seeing the integration of biometrics into laptops as a standard feature.

The technology is stable and reliable under a wide range of environments. Look forward to increased laptop security as the use of passwords is finally relegated to history.

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Windows and other software programs store history about the different activities that you have performed on your computer and on the Internet. This information is stored in the system areas of your hard disk and the built-in Windows functions like 'Clear History' offer little protection as they can only partially delete this data. Anyone can take a look at your history and find out what you have been doing on your computer, and this raises serious privacy concerns.

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