Erase PC data remotely

If we often use the laptop around, there is the possibility that it can be stolen or forgotten somewhere and, a bit like smartphones, it is better to prepare yourself so that you can lock and delete it remotely, so as to avoid that whoever finds it can spy on our personal and private data.
Do not think that just blocking the PC with a password or with a fingerprint reading is enough to make it safe, because for anyone it is enough to detach the internal disk, connect it to another PC to see everything.
While, however, with smartphones there are many applications that delete the contents of the memory remotely, on PCs this is certainly something less common, a need certainly less felt and less urgent, which requires some planning.
So let's see how to prepare the Windows PC to remotely wipe data on hard drives and make the laptop practically useless for any thief.
1) Internal Windows options
First of all, if you are using Windows 10, you can find the GPS coordinates of the laptop using the " Find my device " function.
To find this option, go to Settings > Update & Security .
From the page of the Microsoft website // you can see the localized devices and add some protection options, including that of Bitlocker which is certainly reported as disabled.
Bitlocker is the Windows encryption service that I had already explained in a previous article.
To activate Bitlocker you need to open, from the Start menu, a Windows Explorer window on This PC to see all the available disks.
For those that contain personal data, right-click on it and choose the Enable Bitlocker option.
This feature encrypts files, folders and entire disks with AES-128 encryption.
Encrypted folders can only be viewed with a password or recovery key.
Bitlocker therefore does not allow you to delete personal data remotely, but simply to make the disks completely protected from extraneous access.
Bitlocker is not present in the Home versions of Windows 10, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.
NOTE: An alternative solution to encrypt the disk and protect Windows startup is Veracrypt, free and open source.
2) Remote deletion of laptop data with Prey Anti-Theft
Prey is one of the best anti-theft programs to find the stolen laptop, a 360-degree monitoring solution for all electronic devices, which also includes the remote disk erase function.
After the download and installation wizard, you will be asked to set up your Prey account as a new user, using your Google or Facebook account if you prefer.
Tracking device location with Prey works more accurately and precisely than the Windows " Find My Device " option because it uses Geo IP, Wi-Fi triangulation and GPS.
After finding the location of the laptop, you can choose to " delete " all personal data, including documents, cookies, emails, Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive.
Before deleting, you can make a backup of your important files on the Google or Onedrive cloud.
A less extreme solution is to lock your computer remotely, which is definitely preferable if you forget your laptop at a friend's house or office.
With Prey it is also possible to control what is done on the PC by the user, receiving images and coordinates of the wifi used.
3) Delete files remotely on the PC with DriveStrike
DriveStrike is a web utility that offers the same remote cancellation features as Prey, not available with a free plan, but with really low prices if you choose to buy their service (around 10 Euros per year for a PC or 1.25 Euros per month).
DriveStrike is also a lot easier to use.
If DriveStrike is installed on your PC before losing it, log in to your account in order to perform the actions to delete, block and locate the lost device, simply by clicking on the corresponding command.
Although it is true that theft of laptops is not as common as that of telephones, it is also true that they are easier to spy once you get your hands on them, therefore, for those who work there a lot around, at the airport, in the shopping malls, in bars, in hotel or hostel lobbies, it really pays to put an alarm and prepare to be able to eliminate everything if needed.
READ ALSO: Anti-theft device for a laptop and USB sticks that locates the stolen computer and locks it

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