11 Smart Ways to Make Your Data More Secure


Isn’t technology magical? With a few clicks of a button or swipes of a screen, you can shop, bank, send mail, and file your taxes. But alas, lurking behind your favorite online shops attempting to sneak a peek at your personal emails are nasty scammers and hackers who want to get ahold of your private information. Here are 11 shrewd ways to keep them at bay.

1. Hold Your Information Close to Your Chest

Let’s start at the very beginning: Do not give out your personal information—we’re talking social security number, birthdate, address, bank account information, your mother’s maiden name, the list goes on—to anyone you don’t know (on the Internet or in real life). If a business asks for your social security number in particular, ask if you are permitted to use a different kind of identification. Also be sure to ask why it’s needed, how it will be used, how it will be protected, and what will happen if you decide not to share your number.

2. Spot Phishing Scams

Phishing scams (messages sent to you by cybercriminals looking to steal your information) have improved along with technology. No longer just mysterious emails sent by Nigerian princes, phishing scams nowadays ape the real emails sent to you by your bank, credit card companies, or social networks. So, how do you know whether the email from your bank asking you to reset your password is the real thing or a greedy scam artist? Be on the lookout for tell-tale signs like poor spelling, an unofficial sender email address or an email address that looks just slightly off, a generic greeting (“Dear Member”) instead of your name, or links to strange URLs.

One trick for determining whether you’re on a phishing site is to try using a fake password to log in. If the site lets you “log in” with anything besides your real password, you’re likely on a phishing site. Just keep in mind that many phishing sites are, alternatively, programmed to always give an error message after a login attempt, so receiving an error message after entering a fake password does not mean you’re in the clear.

3. Strengthen Your Password

Speaking of passwords, making sure you have complex and varied passwords is one of the easiest ways to safeguard your personal information. Choose a different password for each site you use—or, at the bare minimum, a different password for your emails—and make each one long and full of capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and special symbols. Tech security experts recommend using a personal “passphrase” in place of a password because it’s more individualized and therefore harder to guess.

4. Or Use Your Face as Your Password

Even though it’s the right thing to do, remembering dozens of different 10-character passwords is no easy feat. Luckily, the Intel Security True Key™ app makes it so you don’t have to. True Key remembers your passwords as you use them so you won’t have to fill them in the next time you visit. And you can feel secure in the knowledge that absolutely no one else can access your True Key profile, since it uses facial recognition and other factors to verify your identity each time you log in.

5. Beware of Public Wi-Fi Networks

The Wi-Fi network at your local coffee shop or library is great for getting some work done outside your home, but it should never be used for online shopping or banking. Public Wi-Fi hotspots are rarely secure, so unless you know for a fact that the website you’re using is encrypted (look for URLs that begin with “https”—the “s” is for “secure”), you should avoid entering any personal information. Look at those new shoes all you like, but keep your credit card in your wallet until you’re on a private Wi-Fi network.

It’s also smart to keep the Bluetooth and wireless settings on your mobile device turned off until you want to join a specific network that you know to be safe; that way you won’t automatically join a potentially harmful public network.

6. Keep Your Operating System Up to Date

Operating systems and software programs are updated periodically to protect against security risks. When you update your system, you repair the security holes hackers use to access your data. It’s a smart idea to turn on your device’s option to automatically search for updates.

7. Arm Your Computer

Don’t rely on your operating system alone to keep your data safe. It’s important to use anti-malware software as well as a firewall on all your computers so that viruses and spyware can’t weasel their way in and corrupt your data. While firewalls that are included in your operating system offer a good level of defense, for the highest level of security, you should use a hardware-based firewall, like those often built into network routers. And, of course, you should back up all your files on an external hard drive.

8. Secure It When You’re Not Around

Be sure to use a username and password to log on to your laptop each time you use it, and be vigilant about logging out when you’re finished. Should your computer get stolen, the thieves will have one more obstacle to get through before reaching your personal data. New devices to help with this are currently in the works—one such new product, which is small enough to fit on your keychain or in your pocket, uses Bluetooth to determine when you’ve stepped away from your computer. When you get too far away, it forces the screen to lock.

9. Lock Your Mobile Devices

You should treat your mobile devices with the same care you reserve for your laptop. Use a password to log in with each use—or better yet, log in with your fingerprint or TrueKey. Many mobile devices also now have a setting in which your device is wiped clean after a certain number of failed login attempts in order to protect from prying eyes.

10.Use Cloud Services Sparingly

Cloud systems present an easy way to send large files to your friends and coworkers. However, they’re also easy for third-parties to access. When it comes to transmitting confidential data, you should avoid the cloud and instead use an encrypted USB stick.

11. Safely Dispose of Personal Information

You’ve got a shiny new laptop (or tablet, or phone)…now, what do you do with the old one? Use a wipe utility program to overwrite your entire hard drive before getting rid of your old laptop. When transferring your data to a new mobile phone, consult your owner’s manual or chat with a representative from your service provider to learn the safest way to do so. Then, before participating in a buyback program or passing your old device on to a friend, make sure you remove your SIM card and wipe the device completely clear.

Innovative technology like True Key by Intel Security makes it so you can surf the web, send email, and buy those shoes you’ve been eyeing worry-free. True Key uses things unique to you—like your face and trusted devices—to log you in, making it a safer, easier way to unlock your digital world. Learn more here.

11 Things You Didn't Know You Needed to Measure

A simple measurement—made even easier by photo measuring technology—will save you wasted time, energy, and effort in the following scenarios. It never hurts to arm yourself with as much information as possible, especially now that innovative technology has put accurate, easy measurements at your fingertips. 

1. Doorframes and Hallways in Your New Apartment Building 

Even if you don’t live in New York City, where cramped stairwells and impossibly small apartments are just part of the charm, you’ll want to know ahead of time which of your current furniture will actually make it into the new apartment. Sure you love your four-poster bed frame or oversized couch, but if it doesn’t even fit through the building’s front door, wouldn’t you rather know that before moving day? 

2. Every Room in Your House, For When You Spot the Perfect Addition 

Even if it’s not new, every house is a work in progress. Be prepared to pick up the perfect statement piece to complete the look with photos of each room that you can measure whenever you happen to spy a great work of art or end table when you’re out and about. 

3. How Much Your Nieces/Nephews/Grandkids Have Grown

Of course you’re going to take a picture of the kids whenever you see them, and now when you say, “My, you’ve grown so much since last time!” you’ll be able to check how much is so much.

4. Your Snowmen 

Tap into your competitive side next time there’s a substantial snowfall and challenge friends and family to a snowman-building contest. When they’re all complete, snap a photo and measure up—award points for both size and style. In fact, the competitors don’t even have to be in the same place for this contest to work. Build your respective snowmen and share the photos amongst yourselves. 

5. How Much Air You Got 

Whether you’re jumping off the diving board or leaping off the ice for a triple axel, have someone document your athletic endeavors and later you can find just how much air you got. If you’re serious about your sport, do this regularly and you can plot your progress. 

6. The Inside Of Your Stove 

Especially if you’re in one of those tiny city apartments. Don’t let yourself buy that giant baking sheet (think of all the cookies!) just to find out it can’t fit in your stove; same goes for oversized casserole dishes. Before you stock your kitchen, make sure you know the dimensions of the oven space itself so you don’t end up with a bunch of useless supplies. 

7. The Distance Between an Outlet and Whatever You’re Plugging In 

This is especially important if you’re talking about an outdoor outlet. Don’t get too carried away with your plans for the perfect poolside margarita maker setup (or other electronic) without first making sure the cord will reach. It’s an easy fix—all you need is an extension cord—but better to know that before your party is in full swing. 

8. Window Height For Curtains

Maybe you think—like many of us did—that curtains are a one-size-fits-most kind of product, but unless you want the lower half of your body exposed or the curtains dragging on the floor, make sure you measure the height of your windows before ordering a set. Skip the rickety stepladder and just take a picture of the windows to get an accurate, reliable measurement.   

9. A Homemade Bookshelf

The beauty of building something from scratch is that you can make it exactly the size you need. Which means you need to figure out exactly what that size is. Consider not just the space you’re going to fit it into but also what it will hold—like if you have any especially tall books you need to take into account or anything else you plan to store there. 

10. Things That Are Just the Right Size

Do your friends have a TV that is large enough to gather around but not overwhelming or a love seat that comfortably sits two but still might fit in your small living room? They might not remember the dimensions of whatever it is you’re coveting but armed with photo measuring technology you can find out in just a snap. 

11. A New Appliance 

Appliances are a big purchase—physically and financially. Make sure you’re plenty prepared by measuring all the different dimensions that might come into play before you head out to compare models. 

From making sure your appliances fit to tracking your family’s literal growth, it’s time to put your photographs to work for you. Intel® RealSense™ technology can turn any snapshot into a useful measuring stick. Learn more here.

11 Ways a 2 in 1 Device Gets You the Best of Both Worlds

Phones, tablets, and computers for work, laptops for gaming—we don’t have enough hands to carry all the devices we need to use on a daily basis! By exchanging your tablet and laptop for a 2 in 1 device you can streamline your computing and lighten your load—without having to make any sacrifices. Here are 11 ways using a 2 in 1 device can help you have it all. 

1. Use It at Work… 

2 in 1 devices inspired by Intel feature the Intel® Core™ M processor, which boasts processing speeds far greater those of its competitors. This means they pack enough power to take on a full day of meetings, presentations, assignments… 

2. … or at Play 

… and games. Your computer use doesn’t stop when you leave the office, and neither do the benefits of your 2 in 1. In addition to increased processing power, Intel-powered 2 in 1 devices feature graphics that are sharper and more vibrant than older models, so you can fully enjoy the visuals of your favorite game. Transform your laptop into a tablet with a flip, swivel, or by detaching the keyboard and you can use it to entertain yourself on your commute or on the couch.

3. It’s Practical… 

When used with its keyboard and mouse trackpad, your 2 in 1 feels as comfortable as your trusty old laptop (but with twice its battery life). It can run Windows, Office, and your favorite desktop apps and Internet browsers. 

4. … and Edgy 

And yet, it’s far from your ordinary laptop. With their razor-thin design, Intel-powered 2 in 1s are ultra sleek, modern, and sexy. 

5. Use it On the Go… 

But the slim design is about more than just looks: 2 in 1s are approximately half the weight of your older laptop and tablet combo, which makes them perfect for taking with you throughout the day. They also have a battery life that outlasts your older laptop or tablet (you can watch hours of HD videos on a single charge), so there’s no need for you to stay within a cord’s reach of an outlet. 

6. … or from the Comfort of Your Home 

2 in 1s offer something for the whole family: You’ll love that you can easily get work done remotely and on your own time, and your kids will love its gaming capabilities. The large screen means you can flip your 2 in 1 into tent mode and comfortably settle in for a family movie night.

7. Use it to Multitask… 

Switch seamlessly from your spreadsheet to your design project to your game with your 2 in 1 thanks to its powerful processor. The 5th generation Intel® Core™ processor family also powers new technologies like facial recognition and voice control, so you can easily switch between tasks—just say the word. 

8. … or Immerse Yourself 

Intel-powered 2 in 1s feature Ultra HD displays, which have up to four times the pixels of full HD. Pop on your headphones and get lost in your game or video—it’s never looked so good. 

9. It’s Reliable… 

The Intel Core M processor with Intel® vPro™ technology features built-in security features that help protect your data, user identities, and network access, so you never have to worry about taking your business home or on the road.

10. … and Flexible 

While your 2 in 1 may be dependable, it’s far from boring. Available in detachable or convertible models, you can switch your device from a laptop to a tablet at the drop of a hat. Spontaneity is the spice of life, and with a 2 in 1 device you can be prepared to go wherever the wind takes you. 

11. You Get More Value… for Less Money. 

In switching to a 2 in 1 device you are not only lightening your physical load—for which your briefcase or backpack will thank you—but are also going easier on your wallet. Intel-powered 2 in 1s, like the Pavilion 15 or 17, can be yours for less than $400. 

By pairing high performance power with a slim, mobile design, Intel-powered 2 in 1 devices give you the best of both worlds. Learn more here.


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