Every work laptop has several protections available to ensure that company information stays within the company. it is also beneficial to you as well.
When you start working for an organization, you need to disable all personal security on your phone and laptop. so that there is no risk of unauthorized access.
But once you leave the company, things get worse, as it becomes harder to reconcile work and personal life. because of the changing perspective and credentials of the Ex-company. but sometimes you may get tired of this device and then think about how often to replace the laptop also.
Restrictions on laptops make it impossible to install any third-party applications or to use other devices such as flash drives, Microsoft g suite, Dreamweaver, etc. that may be required for everyday tasks such as watching movies, listening to music, editing texts, etc.
Fortunately, there is a solution to this problem – fixing your work laptop or converting your work laptop to personal one. Here are some ways to turn your workplace laptop into a personal one.
Now let’s find out together what the easy-to-take steps are for quick converting.
An easy way to delete all work-related information and restore it to factory settings. This will remove all the software needed to work with the company and thus make your laptop truly yours.
But if you want to save other apps or files, you can disable security settings on your laptop so that all third-party software and flash drives can work with it.
1) Disable Windows Defender
Yes, the first easy step is to disable windows defender, but why? security?
Your laptop will come with preinstalled anti-virus software such as Microsoft Security Essentials, but it will not be enough to protect your data.
While working for a company, you need a lot of anti-virus programs to make sure everything is safe.
These antivirus scanners ensure that no harmful software enters the laptop and protects the laptop from ransomware, spyware, etc.
But if you work for an organization, data security is very important so it is recommended that you install multiple anti-virus programs.
However, you do not need these security protections when working for yourself or when using your portable laptop after leaving the company.
These anti-virus tools use a lot of processing power and memory that can slow down your laptop.
The best thing you can do is uninstall all anti-virus software and enable Windows Defender which is a built-in protection tool for Windows OS.
Enabling Windows Defender will ensure that you have a secure browser with no malicious software or sites. In addition, it also protects against ransomware and other forms of malware and spyware attacks.
2) Use TrueCrypt To Encrypt Data
TrueCrypt allows you to encrypt all your data to your desktop or laptop. so that it cannot be accessed by others without proper authorization.
It is an open-source software that allows you to encrypt files, folders, disks, and complete partitions.
You can create a virtual encrypted disk within a file and save all your sensitive data to it.
You can save encrypted files to a USB drive or even email them for convenience.
Additionally, you can use TrueCrypt to create a hidden operating system within your existing OS.
A criminal or a thief can’t enter this visible area without proper authorization from you.
3) Disable Windows Firewall
Your portable computer will have more security measures to protect company data.
One of these is a firewall that prevents hackers from accessing your system remotely.
If you are using a public wireless connection or working on a computer that can be accessed by anyone, it is recommended that you disable Windows Firewall.
If you are using public Wi-Fi, you must disable the firewall to prevent your system from being hacked.
4) Use Mobile Applications
Since you do not have any restrictions on your portable computer, why not fully utilize it by installing all third-party applications?
You can save time by not installing these apps later.
All you need to do is keep a portable version of your favorite software in the drive or storage device and use it directly when needed.
It makes sense to have all third-party applications in one place rather than scattered across different drives in your system.
5) Disable Windows Updates
At work, you will need to keep updating your laptop daily as new leaflets come out with security updates.
This may be important when using a company portable laptop. but is not necessary after leaving the organization.
Just disable Windows updates so you don’t waste time by installing all weekly or monthly updates.
You can always update your system later if you want.
6) Use Visual Equipment
Visible devices are another way to protect your data after you leave the organization or use it for personal use.
These virtual machines allow you to create multiple Windows OS environments on one laptop very easily.
Just install VirtualBox which is a free virtual machine software and create different versions of Windows OS that you can use for personal purposes.
You can also create a separate workspace within your existing OS to access all the important data.
7) Use BitLocker Data Protection
BitLocker is another Windows security feature that encrypts all components on your hard drive.
Just right-click on the drive where you want to enable encryption and select Open BitLocker.
Additionally, you can use a USB drive to store recovery keys in case your hard drive is damaged or stolen.
8) Use Encrypted Mobile Applications
While using TrueCrypt is a great way to encrypt files and folders, it is not as simple as using portable applications.
Therefore, you can use third-party encryption software to encrypt any data to your laptop computer very easily before sending it home or sending it to someone else.
This is the same as TrueCrypt but uses different data protection methods.
You just need to download your preferred writing software and save it to a USB drive or email it to you.
Later, when you get home from work, just install the app on your laptop and use the encrypted files from there without having to re-encrypt them.
9) Use Steganography Software
Steganography is a way to encrypt data in a way that no one can find.
In other words, you can use this software to hide private photos from anyone trying to seduce your personal life.
You just need to download the Steganography software and take secret photos when needed.
Later, create files enclosed in those images and send them to your email address or save them to a USB drive that you can use on your laptop.
10) Use Self-Destructive Message Applications
Here’s another way to protect data at work.
You just need to download any harmful messaging software online and set a time and date after which the message will be automatically destroyed.
Save all messages to a USB drive and use them on your laptop without removing them from your system.
It can be sent to anyone securely by writing via Steganography software.
11) Use Cached Data on Your Personal Laptop
While working on a company laptop, continue to install third-party applications on your laptop if necessary.
It can be used for official purposes while at work but when you get home after doing any work, just close that app in its native mode.
Next time, when you launch your system with that installed app, it will take a few seconds to launch the app as it is already stored in your archive.
12) Create a Different User Account
Although this may not be mandatory. but you can create another user account and log in as that user if you want to perform certain tasks where security is important.
You can use any password or login method available to you and switch to a larger account if needed.
All your activities will be hidden in the main account.
13) Use Visual Equipment to Do Personal Things
Yes, using virtual machines is an easy way to use two different operating systems on the same laptop.
You can build visual equipment within your existing operating system and use it to operate a completely different operating system.
For example, you can run Windows 8 Professional on your laptop and create another virtual machine for other Windows versions such as XP or 7.
Your activities will be hidden from the original account within Windows 8 while the only visible object, if any, will be a virtual machine within Windows 8.
14) Use Quick Boot Updater To Disable Quick Launch
If you have the option to disable the quick start feature, doing so can save you a lot of time switching between work and your laptop.
Most laptop manufacturers use this feature for a quick restart but sometimes, your system will start faster than usual even when you are logged in to your main account.
This can give your tasks to your IT managers or administrators if they have the skills needed to hack your laptop.
Therefore, be sure to disable this feature on at least two accounts on the same laptop.
15) Change Work Profile To Visitor Mode
Job profiles are organized by companies on other computers so that employees can use them for legitimate purposes while hiding their activities in the IT department.
Therefore, once you gain access to a job profile, you can use three different methods to keep your data confidential.
First, go to the guest account installation directory and delete all its content there.
Later, install a virtual machine running Windows XP or 7 on that account and configure it as a guest account.
This way, all your activities will be hidden in the main account.
16) Create a New Guest Account Theme
You can create a new theme for your guest operating system by changing its window color, desktop wallpaper, etc.
This way, you will not be bored with seeing the same old things every time you switch to this account.
How to go beyond the scope of this tutorial, you will need to find online tutorials on how to change XP or 7 themes using third-party applications.
When you are done, all your activities will be hidden from everyone until they log into that account.
17) Password Protect Folders and Files with the Steganography App
You can hide your files and folders using the Windows steganography app.
The reason why you can do this in other ways is that all data is always accessible to anyone with physical access to a computer unless you protect it in private.
If you are not sure what steganography is and how it works you can do a quick search online.
Many apps support this feature and one of them is Wavesteg.
After setting a password, the text message will be hidden inside the .wav file within the folder you specified.
You can create as many random files as you want or create a single .wav file with multiple hidden messages within it.
Now, if someone tries to access this folder, they will be asked to get a password while all other folders remain unaffected.
18) Password Protect USB Flash Drives for Personal Files
If you have a secure flash drive with password protection software, it can be used to protect personal files on your laptop.
This way, no one will be able to access them without knowing his password.
One of the most important things a worker should know is that anyone with physical access to your laptop can restore your files without having to know their names as long as you have not written them yourself.
19) Open the Private Privacy Browsing window on Shared Laptop
There are several ways to keep your privacy secure on a public laptop but the easiest way is to open a private browsing window first.
To do this, open Firefox, Internet Explorer or any other browser you use and switch to its private browsing mode.
Open a separate browser window for your activities.
This way, no one else on the same laptop will be able to see which websites you visit or other personal documents that you may have opened at some point.
20) Open File and Printer Sharing
Preventing other people from accessing your files only works if you are the only person left in the office or using a public laptop.
If not, file sharing should be enabled so that everything transmitted via a wireless network is encrypted automatically.
Enabling this feature is as easy as logging in to Network and Internet settings from the Control Panel.
For some laptops, you may need to go to Network Connections first and then click Wireless Network Connection.
Now, a window will appear asking you if file sharing should be enabled or not.
If it does not appear, double-check that the wireless network is turned on and connect to it.
This will securely encrypt your data before sending it over the network and ensure that no one else can capture it using a different encryption key.
21) Set Up VPN Connection Online Banking and Purchase
Although simple, this method works like a charm because of its ease of use.
All you have to do is set up a VPN connection and sign in using your credentials.
Next, you will need to use the IP address of your bank or your favorite e-commerce website as your destination.
Now, you can securely enter your login details and other required information before performing any task.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I reset my company laptop for personal use?
Enter ‘Reset PC’ into the search box in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen and pick the ‘Reset this PC’ option. When you click the ‘Get Started’ option, your laptop will guide you through the reset procedure. For a complete wipe, select ‘Remove everything.’
How to wipe a computer before recycling?
Go to Settings > System > Recovery on Windows 11.
Click the Reset PC button at the Reset this PC entry under Recovery options.
You may then select to delete everything or remove applications and settings while keeping your files. Select Remove everything for this procedure.