The process of converting your work laptop to a personal laptop involves certain procedures as a company’s laptop implements different software for security. Work laptop is different from a personal laptop because it has several additional security software. This is to protect the company’s information from privacy breaches. Laptops used for work implement stricter security protocols to safeguard the company’s information. That software could prevent the use of other devices or installation of 3rd party applications necessary for routine activities, for instance, listening to music, watching movies, and editing documents. Nevertheless, it is easily possible to convert your work laptop to a personal laptop.
The best way is to erase all the work-related data on your laptop and restore it to factory settings. This would delete all the software installed for the company, and make your laptop fit for personal use too. But you may want to preserve certain company data too. Just in case you want a new laptop for work or for personal use, explore the best picks at whatingadgets.
However, if you want to retain certain files and applications, you can deactivate the installed security settings on the laptop. This shall enable the flash drives and 3rd party software to function on the laptop.
In this guide, we list down the measures that you can take to convert a work laptop to a personal laptop.
#1 Enable Windows Defender
The company may have installed several antivirus programs on the laptop to ensure the safety of the data. This is because Microsoft Security Essentials is not totally enough to safeguard the company’s data. Several agents could breach the laptop’s security such as spyware, ransomware, amongst others.
Hence, you would have to enable the Windows Defender and uninstall other additional antivirus software. Windows Defender security comes along with the Windows Operating System, and it keeps the browser secure by protecting it from malicious sites, software, and spyware. Hence, in order to have a safe browsing experience and to protect against ransomware attacks, enable the windows defender on your laptop.
#2 Encrypt the Data
Next, you need to encode the company’s data so that it is not accessible without authorization. You can use TrueCrypt to encode the data. TrueCrypt is an open-source software that encrypts folders, files, disks, as well as whole partitions.
To organize the encrypted data, you can make a virtual encrypted disk inside a file and copy all the sensitive data into it. Alternatively, you can email the encrypted files to yourself, or save them on a USB drive.
In addition to that, TrueCrypt could be used to make a new hidden operating system inside the existing operating system.
#3 Disable the Windows Firewall If You Are Using a Public Wi-fi
Windows Firewall is to prevent the hacking of your laptop by remote hackers. Disable the Windows Firewall if you are using public Wi-Fi.
#4 Remove Work Network from The Work Laptop
If your laptop is domain-joined, then it is accessible to all the domain users. If so, you can just sign out the past account of the employees and then use the same old username to log in. This shall delete the work network from the laptop.
#5 Reinstall the Windows
Avoid the risk of locking the laptop as it would block your access to the administrator account. To prevent this risk, you can reinstall the windows, and format the C drive to clear out all the data.
Reformatting completely erases the hard drive of your laptop. This procedure completely wipes the company laptop, erasing the company’s information, and its domain network. But you must know how to correctly reformat the laptop.
The process requires a bootable drive or an installation CD. Moreover, you must have the software for restoring it. Next, for formatting the hard drive, install the windows installation disc. The CD would run on auto after you insert it. But if it doesn’t, click on my computer, find out the drive, and select autorun. The CD would take some time to load, a few minutes. The installation disc would recommend a default operating system, accept that OS.
#6 Method to Unlock the Company Laptop
Press CTRL+ALT+DELETE KEYS to leave the unwanted window opened on your laptop. Further, enter the latest login information that you used for your latest login as a user. Press OK, then you can restart if you perceive a glitch in the system.
#7 Uninstall the Additional Anti-Virus Programs
Companies do not totally rely on the Windows Defender Program that is pre-installed in the system. To keep their data confidential, they install several kinds of powerful anti-virus software. Those software occupy a large part of the laptop’s RAM and take up much speed of the laptop’s processor. However, the heavy anti-virus software is not essential for personal use
#8 Disable the Windows Update
Every windows update introduces new security packages. But if you would use the laptop for personal purposes, the updates would not be necessary. So, it would be better to turn them off. This is to make sure that your time is not wasted in the monthly or weekly updates. Moreover, it is possible to update your computer manually anytime.
#9 BitLocker for Encrypting Data
BitLocker software is an alternative to the TrueCrypt software, however, the TrueCrypt software has its own advantages. BitLocker software could be effectively used to secure the complete storage drive. Moreover, this software is very convenient to use.
This software is available for free. After installing it on your laptop, copy all the confidential information to a drive. Then right-click at any place in the drive to turn the BitLocker on. Additionally, you can use a USB flash drive to copy all your passkeys.
#10 Virtual Machines
Sometimes you may want to keep certain workplace files on your computer, and at the same time, convert it for personal use. You can retain those workplace files on your personal laptop by using virtual machines. Virtual machines could be used to make new versions of your operating system inside the one already present. To do that, install any of the freely available software for virtual machines, and make a new version of your operating system for personal use. Moreover, you can also make a separate work environment inside that operating system to access the important data.
#11 Use Stenography App To Secure Folders With Password
The Stenography app secures your work files by protecting them with passwords. So, anyone who tries to access those files will have to enter the password.
Following these procedures would make your work laptop perfect for personal use. Instead of discarding your old company laptop, the best is to convert it for personal use. However, if you do not delete the company’s information from it, it could be at risk of hacking and data leaking. So, make a backup of all the necessary information before reformatting the laptop.