Trending March 2024 # How To Buy A Secure Business Laptop # Suggested April 2024 # Top 7 Popular

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Smart card reader

A smart card reader is a strong alternative to both traditional passwords and biometric authentication. To log in to a protected laptop, users must insert a physical security card, then enter a PIN. From there, the smart card communicates wirelessly with the laptop to log you in.

Smart card readers are generally available only on business laptops, including an array of Dell, Lenovo, HP and ASUS machines. If they’re not installed as a standard feature, a modest upgrade costing less than $20 may be enough to add a card reader to your preferred device. Alternatively, external smart card readers pair with your PC via USB port.

Smart cards are typically used in enterprise scenarios, where a large company provides laptops to its employees. However, it is possible to order your own smart card by applying for one online.

Key Takeaway

Whether you use a card reader or biometrics, make sure unauthorized users can’t log in to your company’s laptops. You also need to follow these laws when using biometrics.

Encryption

Encryption keeps data on a laptop safe by making it unreadable for anyone who lacks the password required to decode it. It’s important to encrypt your data even if a login password screen protects your computer, since that line of defense will be useless if someone steals your laptop. The hard drive can simply be plugged into another PC to access any stored data. 

Advanced users can encrypt their files using third-party software, but Microsoft’s BitLocker service is a good option for the average worker using a Windows laptop. It encrypts your files by working with a special chip, called a Trusted Platform Module, attached to some laptop motherboards. Here’s what you’ll need to access BitLocker. 

Windows Professional: BitLocker is only available on the pricier Pro, Enterprise and Education versions of Microsoft’s Windows 10 and 11 operating systems. This full-volume encryption platform uses Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption on each sector of a hard disk drive. 

Trusted Platform Module (TPM): This blocks thieves and attackers from accessing data unless they have access to a special password, which is partially stored on your computer’s internal drive and partially stored on the TPM itself – a form of two-factor authentication. Since each TPM chip has built-in tamper protection, a thief can’t place the drive on another motherboard to bypass the encryption. 

You don’t have to be tech-savvy to use a TPM; if your computer comes with one, it will automatically encrypt your data. If you ever need to access the full password to recover your files, you can view it inside your BitLocker vault, which is available after logging in to your Microsoft account. Read our small business guide to computer encryption for more information.

Tip

Use one of the best secure messaging apps to keep your business correspondence confidential as well as its data.

Lock slot

Securing your data is essential, but so is preventing a device from falling into the wrong hands. Many business laptops come with a special metal hole called a Kensington lock slot, which lets you physically chain your system to your desk with a cable. Like bike locks, the cable can only be removed once a four-digit combination code is entered or a key is used. The cables themselves are typically carbon steel wrapped in cut-resistant plastic, requiring a saw and a great deal of effort for a thief to slice through. 

Key Takeaway

A secure home office is vital for any entrepreneur or employee to protect hardware and minimize the risk of data loss or theft.

Secure management

Secure management technology is mandatory for employers who are responsible for keeping company systems up to date. It enables business owners to track, locate or wipe those systems if they’re lost or stolen. Countless third-party desktop management suites can meet the needs of your business, providing unified endpoint management for laptops, phones and tablets.

An example of remote management is the Intel VPro range of hardware features. It can run software and group policy updates even when a system is turned off, which is helpful whether you need to locate the system, restrict access to it or wipe it clean if it’s been lost or stolen. [Learn the top ways to share files securely.]

Why you need a secure business laptop

Don’t be one of the businesses with lax cybersecurity. As a business owner, you are responsible for confidential data about your company, employees and customers. It is vital to keep this information safe – otherwise, you may face financial, reputational and practical consequences as the result of violating legislation or a data breach. A secure business laptop – for yourself and your staff – is one of the best ways to protect your company’s data. Be sure also to read how to mitigate the costs of a small business data breach and follow these quick cybersecurity tips.

Brett Nuckles contributed to the writing and research in this article.

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How To Fix A Laptop That Won’T Turn On

However, it’s important to take a deep breath and run through what the potential causes might be. If it’s one of the six below, we’ve included information on how to hopefully get it up and running again. 

1. Check the power supply Laptops

There are various things that can go wrong here. You might have plugged in a power supply from a different laptop. Just because the connector fits, doesn’t mean it’s the right one. Laptops require a specific voltage, and they don’t all use the same. And even if the voltage from the power supply is correct, it may not deliver enough amps to power your laptop and charge its battery.

Check that the power supply is indeed the correct one for your laptop and is outputting the right voltage and amps. Stickers or markings on both the power supply and laptop should confirm this.

If your laptop is relatively modern and charges over USB-C, make sure you’re connecting the charger to the right USB port. Some laptops are particularly picky about having the official charger, especially Huawei MateBooks, so not just any USB-C power supply will do.

If it’s the correct charger, next check the fuse in the plug. Use a screwdriver to remove the fuse and swap it for one that’s known to be good. If you have a spare power cable that will plug into your power supply, this is a much quicker way to test that it isn’t the fuse at fault.

Check over the wire itself, as power supplies can have a hard life, especially if you carry them everywhere. Weak points are at the ends where it joins the black brick and at the plug which connects to the laptop. If you can see the coloured wires inside the black outer protection, it could be time to buy a new power supply unit (PSU).

If you’re having problems with a touchpad, it’s worth checking out our guide to fixing a cursor that’s not moving.

PCs

PC power supplies can also be problematic. It’s unlikely you’ll have a spare one that you can swap in to check, so first test the fuse in the plug. There’s also a fuse inside the PSU itself, but it will require you to take it out of your PC (a pain) and then remove the metal case to check if that’s the problem.

One of the most common PC power supply issues is that the PC will turn off unexpectedly rather than fail to start up at all.

If the LED is on – showing that power is reaching the power supply – make sure the power button in your PC case is properly connected and working.

You can short the appropriate motherboard pins together (check which ones in your motherboard manual) to eliminate the power button from the equation. Some motherboards even have a built-in power button. So take the side off your PC’s case and have a look for one.

2. Check the screen Laptops

If your computer’s power LED lights up and you can hear the hard disk or fan(s) whirring, but there’s no image on the screen, then make the room dark and check that there isn’t a very faint image on the screen.

It’s easy to think a laptop isn’t booting when in fact, the screen backlight has failed.

Older laptops which don’t use LED backlights have inverters, which can stop working.

Replacing an inverter is difficult and it’s crucial you buy the right replacement part. As inverters aren’t exactly cheap, you can’t afford to get it wrong. It’s a job best left for the professionals, but as your laptop is likely to be old, it’s probably time to buy a new one.

If your laptop appears to be booting fine, but there’s no image at all, the LCD panel could be at fault. Replacing a laptop screen is possible, but difficult, and screens can also be costly. 

However, before jumping to that conclusion, disconned any external displays (including projectors and monitors) to make sure they’re not stopping your laptop from booting into Windows.

The Windows login screen might even be showing on a second screen that’s turned off, and you might assume the laptop – or Windows – is broken, but it’s simply that you can’t see the login screen.

PCs

There isn’t much you can do to fix a broken PC monitor, but it’s easy – or easier – to swap the power cable and HDMI (or DisplayPort) cable, or even the whole monitor to see if that’s the reason you don’t see the Windows login screen.

3. Unplug and removable USB drives or memory cards

A classic culprit here is a USB drive or memory card left inserted into a USB port or card reader. Typically you’ll see an error message such as “Operating system not found” which can lead to unnecessary panic. 

For the majority of the time, it means the BIOS is set to try booting from removable storage drives (including cards) before the internal hard drive.

It could also be a disc left in the DVD or Blu-ray drive, so check those too.

4. Try a rescue disc

If none of the above has worked, you can try booting from a rescue disk or USB drive.

If you have one, the Windows DVD can be used, but otherwise you can download (using another computer – obviously) a rescue disc image and either burn it to a CD or DVD, or extract it to a USB flash drive. You can then boot from this and attempt to fix the problem with Windows.

If a virus is causing the problem, use a rescue disc from an anti-virus provider as this will include scanning tools which can find and remove the malware.

5. Boot into Safe Mode

Even if you can’t boot into Windows, you might be able to get into safe mode. Press F8 as your laptop is starting up and you’ll get a menu offering to boot into Safe Mode. Here’s how to enter safe mode. That won’t work in Windows 10 though, as you need to be in Windows before you can get to safe mode. In that case, you’ll need to boot from a rescue disc or drive as described above.

If you can enter safe mode, you might be able to undo any changes that caused your laptop or PC to stop booting. You could try uninstalling any new programs that you recently installed, uninstall a driver that was recently updated, or create a new user account if the account is corrupt.

Here’s a more detailed guide on how to fix a corrupt user profile.

If you see an option to repair your computer, try that.

6. Check for faulty or incompatible hardware

If you’ve just installed some new memory or another piece of hardware, it might be preventing your computer from booting. Remove it (reinstalling the old memory if necessary) and try again.

If your motherboard has a LED readout showing POST codes, search the manual or online to find out what the code shown means.

Often it can be tricky to get a newly built PC to boot. The best tip here is to disconnect everything except the bare minimum needed to boot to the BIOS. All you need is a:

Motherboard

CPU (with heatsink attached)

Graphics card (if there’s a graphics output on the motherboard, remove any plug-in graphics cards)

One stick of memory (remove any others, and leave the single stick in slot 0 or whichever the manual recommends)

Power supply

Monitor

All other hardware is unnecessary: you don’t need a hard drive or any other components for the PC to start.

Common reasons why a newly built PC won’t boot are:

Occasionally, people have found that removing the drive and putting it in the freezer for a couple of hours (in a freezer bag) does the trick.

However, this is usually a temporary fix and you should have a second drive on hand to quickly back up or copy any files off the drive that you need.

If you can’t get the drive going again, it’s time to start afresh with a new hard drive. In fact, you’re better off buying an SSD. Hopefully you have a recent backup of all your important files!

To set up your PC to turn itself off automatically, here’s how to schedule Windows 10 shutdown.

How To Choose A Tablet For Your Business

If you seek basic information on what to look for in a tablet, check out PCWorld’s consumer tablet buying guide. But for business purposes, read on for what you need to know about choosing a slate with the right operating system, apps, connectivity options, hardware, and more.

Operating System

When purchasing a tablet, the first thing to consider is the operating system and the app ecosystem you’re buying into. At the moment, the tablet OS wars have two major players: iOS on the iPad 2 and Android on almost everything else.

Also in the mix, on a handful of tablets, is Microsoft Windows 7. Windows slates haven’t been very successful for several reasons, but mostly because Windows–whether it’s Windows XP, Vista, or 7–is the optimal OS for such a device. While Windows 7 wasn’t designed for tablets, it does a better job than you might think of supporting tapping and swiping, given the small icons and menus it must work with. With a slate that accepts stylus input, it works better. We expect this situation to improve with the arrival of Windows 8 tablets that will have the finger-optimized Windows Phone 7-like Metro interface later this year.

In spite of the interface issues, if you’re using any sort of vertical Windows application, or rely upon some of Microsoft Office’s deeper features, a Windows 7 slate is your only real choice for comprehensive business use.

For general tablet use, Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android makes a better choice in most cases than a Windows 7 tablet. Some tablets, such as Viewsonic’s ViewPad 10, dual-boot to Android and Windows 7. If you really want to enjoy access to a marketplace and all those fun apps, this couild be a better solution than a Windows 7-only tablet.

Applications

With Windows 7, you can install nearly any application available for that OS. For iOS and Android, you’re more limited in your choice of business applications, but not as much as you might think.

Some tablet makers, such as Lenovo on its ThinkPad Tablet, offer VPN and even remote Windows desktop options (such as Citrix Receiver) preinstalled.

Unfortunately, online applications such as Google Docs and chúng tôi are not the great solution for tablets that they could be–at least not beyond basic word processing. In practice, they’re simply too keyboard- and mouse-oriented to be used efficiently on a tablet.

Keyboard, Mouse, and Stylus

Of course, dragging a keyboard and mouse around with you begs the question, “Why didn’t I just buy a laptop?” But if you type a lot, you’ll need a real keyboard. Using peripherals with a tablet isn’t as zany an idea as you might think–after all, those tools will make certain tasks easier, and you’ll still have the tablet to use as such when you’re not employing them.

Windows 7 tablets all have USB ports, and most offer Bluetooth, so you can use basically any keyboard or mouse on the market. Some Android tablets have USB ports, but the iPad 2 and many Android tablets rely solely on Bluetooth for peripheral connections.

A few exceptions: Lenovo’s ThinkPad Tablet and Asus’s Eee Pad Transformer TF101 and Eee Pad Transformer Prime all offer a keyboard and cursor control in a case that uses the USB port or dock.

The $69 Apple Wireless Keyboard and Logitech’s $70 Bluetooth Tablet Keyboard for iPad 2 and for Android (3.0+) are decent units that won’t weigh you down too much. Logitech also makes a $130 folding keyboard that travels a little more compactly, and the company’s $100 keyboard/case for the Samsung Galaxy (10.1 inches) is another workable solution. With Windows 7, a portable mouse is a good and necessary accessory. Navigating its non-finger-optimized interface is difficult at best without it or a stylus. Any of a host of USB (including wireless) and Bluetooth mice that work on laptops and desktops will work just fine on a Windows 7 tablet.

Digital Pens

Most tablets, like the iPad, have a capacitive touchscreen, which senses input from conductive materials, such as a living finger. These will work only with your finger, or a chunky capacitive stylus. But for serious drawing or for taking handwritten notes, you’ll need a special pen-and-tablet combination.

Many of the business-focused Android and Windows slates come with active digitizer technology–which requires an electronic pen–in addition to the capacitive touchscreen. An active digitizer lets you lay your hand on the screen without interfering with the pen’s input, and increases accuracy and pressure sensitivity.

N-Trig-based tablets are great for those who do a lot of handwriting or a little drawing. N-Trig’s Duo Sense dual pen and touch-active digitizers are found in Android tablets with N-Trig’s digitizer, such as the HTC Flyer and Jetstream and the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet. N-Trig-based Windows slates include the Fujitsu Q550, both the HP Slate 500 and the newer Slate 2, and the Motion CL900.

Each of the Android tablets comes with special note-taking software, such as Notes on the HTC tablets, and My Script Notes Mobile on the ThinkPad. However, if you want to do more drawing, you’ll want to check out Wacom-based Windows slates like the Asus EP121 or the Samsung Series 7. Wacom pens will not work on N-Trig tablets, and vice-versa.

Connectivity and Ports

Wi-Fi: All tablets have Wi-Fi. However, not all have 802.11a, the 5GHz band traditionally used by businesses. 5GHz is also used in newer dual-band consumer-grade routers and can result in a better connection, simply because there are fewer devices using it.

The iPad 2 supports 802.11a, as does the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, but many others do not. This is a feature some business users might need to connect in their offices.

Broadband: An increasing number of tablets have wireless broadband. Some iPad 2 models provide 3G broadband connectivity to either AT&T or Verizon and on a month-to-month basis–no service agreement. Samsung’s 4G Galaxy Tabs, Motorola’s 4G LTE Droid XyBoards, and others sold by providers also offer broadband, but these models are on a two-year contract basis. Given the fast pace of change in tablets today, a two-year contract could be too long a commitment for a small business.

If you’re buying a tablet with mobile broadband, we suggest sticking with one that has 4G, so you can get the maximum possible speeds. At this writing, you’re limited to 3G on an iPad 2.

Ultimately, whether you’ll need broadband is something only you can decide, but either way, expect the broadband-enabled tablet to cost more than the baseline model. It might be more flexible for your business to use a mobile hotspot such as Samsung’s LTE router, instead.

Bluetooth: You probably want Bluetooth if you have any intention of using a portable keyboard and mouse with your tablet. For connecting peripherals, 2.1 is fine. Few tablets lack Bluetooth, with the exception of some value-priced, consumer-centric models such as Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet.

USB: Whether you need USB depends on how you want to store and transfer files, and whether you want to leverage USB peripherals (such as a mouse, gaming pad, or keyboard). Apple’s iPad lacks any integrated ports, though you can add one that will communicate with digital cameras for $30. Only a handful of Android tablets, including the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet, the Acer Iconia A500, and the Toshiba Thrive, have full-size USB ports that will power an external drive. More common are micro-USB and mini-USB ports that won’t.

HDMI: If you intend to use your tablet as a presentation tool, and want more folks than those sitting next to you at the table to see what you’re showing, you’ll need video output. HDMI is by far the most common type–and even the iPad supports it via a $40 adapter.

Camera: You’ll definitely want a forward-facing camera if you intend to make video calls or do videoconferencing. The lack of this feature was a major drawback of the first-generation iPad and some early Android tablets, but forward-facing cameras are now almost universal, though resolution varies. If you want to impress your clients, look for at least 1.3 megapixels that will do 720p video, although you’ll need a fast connection to use the higher resolution.

Look for the same resolution in the rear-facing camera, which is handy for snapping photos and for capturing documents and business cards using a scanning or OCR app.

Storage

The iPad, however, supports transferring large amounts of data directly from a PC using iTunes or from online storage services such as iCloud, Mozy, or Dropbox. However, downloading from an online storage account can be frustratingly slow on the road. Wi-Fi hard drives, such as Seagate’s GoFlex Satellite Mobile Wireless Storage, are a faster option (in most cases) for the iPad.

A more critical issue is that, depending on the app and service you’re using, you may not be able to do much more than view your document inside that app on your iPad. For example, if you download a Word doc, you may only be able to view it in the app, not open it in another app to edit it.

Security

Security and data encryption are major issues for many business users, and for some companies, the lack of security will eliminate many tablets from consideration.

Windows 7 has Bitlocker (Ultimate and Enterprise versions only) and numerous third-party apps that implement security; Android 3.0 (“Honeycomb”) and later offers system encryption; and the iPad has encrypted everything stored on it since day one. Android 2.x does not encrypt and is still offered on many tablets–avoid those if you have data you need to protect.

Android, iOS, and Windows 7 all provide a means of establishing a VPN connection, so accessing your company network is easy as well. How many resources you can access is the issue. With Windows 7 and Android you can browse storage, but with the iPad you’re limited to basic company communications, such as email and bulletin boards.

Lenovo has gone the extra yard with security considerations for its IdeaPad Tablet. Not only does it offer Cisco VPN and Good Technologies secure e-mail, it also lets you encrypt data on removable storage. It also ships with Citrix Receiver, so users can work with a remote Windows desktop under the control of IT. Your techs will love those features.

Final Advice

A tablet can meet at least some of your business needs, but it’s most likely going to entail some compromise in the way you work. If you have software that requires Windows, then you need a Windows tablet–no way around it. If you don’t have that constraint, then the iPad and Android tablets are more finger-friendly options.

How Many Watts Does A Gaming Laptop Use?

How many Watts does a gaming laptop use?

What is TGP? How many Watts does a gaming laptop use? We answer both these questions and more.

So how many watts does a gaming laptop use? Well it varies: the number of watts a gaming laptop uses changes considerably depending on the model in question.

The chaps at SCAN say that the average gaming laptop draws about 250W and this is a fair estimate, but the range varies quite a bit from less powerful budget options to high-powered premium gaming laptops.

It usually takes a bit of digging to find out the power draw of a gaming laptop (or indeed a regular laptop). If you have the laptop in front of you, you can normally get a good idea by looking at the power brick/block/adapter and finding the wattage listed on there, which will be at least as much as the laptop’s power draw.

If you don’t have the laptop in front of you, your best bet is to check out the in-depth specifications listed on the manufacturer’s website for the watts used by the specific model, or alternatively, it may be mentioned in an in-depth review (most commonly it’s just the TGP that’s mentioned though – more on this below).

READ NOW: Top 5 gaming laptop deals December 2023 & Christmas gifts for gamers 2023

By far the most power-hungry component in a gaming laptop is the graphics card, which can draw as much power alone as an entire laptop in the case of the most powerful GPUs.

GPU power draw is most commonly referred to as TGP (which stands for Total Graphics Power). This is usually the easiest figure to look up when you’re interested in finding out how many Watts a gaming laptop uses, though even this can be hard to find. Again, you’ll usually want to look on the page of the manufacturer to find out this information, or an in-depth review of the gaming laptop in question (retailers often won’t list it).

Below we’ve listed the maximum TGP of most of the Nvidia 30-series laptop/mobile GPU range. Note that these represent the most powerful graphics cards for each SKU – there are a great many RTX 3080 Tis, RTX 3080s, RTX 3070s etc. with lower TGPs than listed below, which means they will perform less well than higher-TGP variants. A high TGP RTX 3070 laptop for example, may even perform as well as an underpowered RTX 3080 in extreme cases.

AMD Radeon graphics cards can sometimes use slightly different terminology than the below to measure their wattage, but the concept is the same:

How many watts does a gaming laptop use? Final Word

We do hope this short guide has helped illuminate you on how many watts does a gaming laptop use? Why not take a little look at our multiple best gaming laptop guides across different price ranges (these can be found in the site’s drop-down menu on the top of this page). We also have other gaming laptop FAQ pages if you want to educate yourself a bit further on these devices.

How To Use Yubikey – A Secure Login For Local Account In Windows 11/10

Users can use hardware security keys, manufactured by Swedish company Yubico to log into a Local account on Windows 11/10. The company recently released the first stable version of the Yubico Login for Windows application. In this post, we will show you how to install and configure YubiKey for use on Windows 11/10 PCs.

YubiKey is a hardware authentication device that supports one-time passwords, public-key encryption and authentication, and the Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) and FIDO2 protocols developed by the FIDO Alliance. It allows users to securely log in to their accounts by emitting one-time passwords or using a FIDO-based public/private key pair generated by the device. YubiKey also allows for storing static passwords for use at sites that do not support one-time passwords. Facebook uses YubiKey for employee credentials, and Google supports it for both employees and users. Some password managers support YubiKey. Yubico also manufactures the Security Key, a device similar to the YubiKey, but focused on public-key authentication.

YubiKey allows users to sign, encrypt, and decrypt messages without exposing the private keys to the outside world. This feature was previously available only for Mac & Linux users.

To configure/set up YubiKey on Windows 11/10, you’ll need the following:

A YubiKey USB hardware .

Yubico Login software for Windows.

YubiKey Manager software.

All of them are available on chúng tôi under their Products tab. Also, you should note that the YubiKey app does not support local Windows accounts managed by Azure Active Directory (AAD) or Active Directory (AD) as well as Microsoft Accounts.

YubiKey hardware authentication device

Before installing the Yubico Login for Windows software, make a note of your Windows username and password for the local account. The person who installs the software must have the Windows username and password for their account. Without these, nothing can be configured, and the account is inaccessible. The default behavior of the Windows credential provider is to remember your last login, so you do not have to type in the username.

For this reason, many people may not remember the username. However, once you install the tool and reboot, the new Yubico credential provider is loaded, so that both admins and end-users have actually to type in the username. For these reasons, not only the admin but also everybody whose account is to be configured via Yubico Login for Windows should check to ensure that they can log in using the Windows username and password for their local account BEFORE the admin installs the tool and configures end-users’ accounts.

It’s also imperative to note that, once Yubico Login for Windows has been configured, there is:

No Windows Password Hint

No way to reset passwords

No Remember Previous User/Login function.

Additionally, Windows automatic login is not compatible with Yubico Login for Windows. If a user whose account was set up for automatic login no longer remembers their original password when the Yubico Login for Windows configuration takes effect, the account can no longer be accessed. Address this issue preemptively by:

Having users set new passwords before disabling automatic login.

Have all users verify they can access their accounts with username and their new password before you use Yubico Login for Windows to configure their accounts.

Administrator permissions are required to install the software.

YubiKey Installation

First, verify your username. Once you have installed Yubico Login for Windows and rebooted, you will need to enter this in addition to your password to log in. To do this, open Command Prompt or PowerShell from the Start menu and run the command below

whoami

Take note of the full output, which should be in the form DESKTOP-1JJQRDFjdoe, where jdoe is the username.

Download the Yubico Login for Windows software from here.

Accept the end-user license agreement.

In the installation wizard, specify the destination folder location or accept the default location.

Restart the machine on which the software has been installed. After the restart, the Yubico credential provider presents the login screen that prompts for the YubiKey.

Because the YubiKey has not yet been provisioned, you must switch user and enter not only the password for your local Windows account, but also your username for that account. If necessary, you may have to change Microsoft Account to Local Account.

After you have logged in, search for “Login Configuration” with the green icon. (The item actually labelled Yubico Login for Windows is just the installer, not the application.)

YubiKey Configuration

Only accounts that are supported can be configured for Yubico Login for Windows. If you launch the configuration wizard, and the account you are looking for is not displayed, it is not supported and therefore not available for configuration.

During the configuration process, the following will be required;

Primary and Backup Keys: Use a different YubiKey for each registration. If you are configuring backup keys, each user should have one YubiKey for the primary and a second one for the backup key.

Recovery Code: A recovery code is a last-resort mechanism to authenticate a user if all YubiKeys have been lost. Recovery codes can be assigned to the users you specify; however, the recovery code is only usable if the username and password for the account are also available. The option to generate a recovery code is presented during the configuration process.

Step 2: The User Account Control dialog appears. If you are running this from a non-Administrator account, you will be prompted for local administrator credentials. The Welcome page introduces the Yubico Login Configuration provisioning wizard:

Step 4: The configurable items are:

Slots: Select the slot where the challenge-response secret will be stored. All YubiKeys that have not been customized come pre-loaded with a credential in slot 1, so if you are using Yubico Login for Windows to configure YubiKeys that are already being used for logging into other accounts, do not overwrite slot 1.

Challenge/Response Secret: This item enables you to specify how the secret will be configured and where it will be stored. The options are:

Use existing secret if configured – generate if not configured: The key’s existing secret will be used in the specified slot. If the device has no existing secret, the provisioning process will generate a new secret.

Generate new, random secret, even if a secret is currently configured: A new secret will be generated and programmed to the slot, overwriting any previously configured secret.

Note: If you select to save a recovery code while provisioning a user for a second key, any previous recovery code becomes invalid, and only the new recovery code will work.

Create Backup Device for Each User: Use this option to have the provisioning process register two keys for each user, a primary YubiKey and a backup YubiKey. If you do not want to provide recovery codes to your users, it is good practice to give each user a backup YubiKey. For more information, refer to the Primary and Backup Keys section above.

Step 7: The username shown in the Configuring User field shown above is the user for whom a YubiKey is currently being configured. As each username is displayed, the process prompts you to insert a YubiKey to register for that user.

Step 8: The Wait for Device page is shown while an inserted YubiKey is being detected and before it is registered for the user whose username is in the Configuring User field at the top of the page. If you have selected Create Backup Device for Each User in the Defaults page, the Configuring User field will also display which of the YubiKeys is being registered, Primary or Backup.

Step 10: The Programming Device page displays the progress of programming each YubiKey.  The Device Confirmation page shown below displays the details of the YubiKey detected by the provisioning process, including the device serial number (if available) and the configuration status of each One-Time Password (OTP) slot. If there are conflicts between what you have set as defaults and what is possible with the detected YubiKey, a warning symbol is displayed. If everything is good to go, a check mark will be shown. If the status line shows an error icon, the error is described, and instructions for fixing it are displayed on the screen.

Step 11: Once programming is complete for a user account, that account can no longer be accessed without the corresponding YubiKey. You are prompted to remove the YubiKey just configured, and the provisioning process automatically proceeds to the next user account/YubiKey combination.

Step 12: After all, the YubiKeys for the specified user account have been provisioned:

If the Generate Recovery Code was selected on the Defaults page, the Recovery Code page is displayed.

If Generate Recovery Code was not selected, the provisioning process would automatically continue to the next user account.

The provisioning process moves to Finished after the last user account is done.

The recovery code is a long string. (To eliminate problems caused by the end-user mistaking the numeral 1 for lowercase letter L and 0 for the letter O, the recovery code is encoded in Base32, which treats alphanumeric characters that look similar as if they were the same.)

The Recovery Code page is displayed after all the YubiKeys for the specified user account has been configured.

Step 13: On the Recovery Code page, generate and set a recovery code for the selected user. Once this has been done, the Copy and Save buttons to the right of the recovery code field become available.

Step 14: Copy the recovery code and save it from being shared with the user and keep it in case the user loses it.

Note: Be sure to save the recovery code at this point in the process. Once you proceed to the next screen, it is not possible to retrieve the code.

Step 16: Give each user their recovery code. End-users should save their recovery code to a safe location accessible when they cannot log in.

YubiKey User Experience

When the local user account has been configured to require a YubiKey, the user is authenticated by the Yubico Credential Provider instead of the default Windows Credential Provider. The user is prompted to insert their YubiKey. Then the Yubico Login screen is presented. The user enters their username and password.

Note: It is not necessary to press the button on the YubiKey USB hardware to log in. In some instances, pressing the button causes the login to fail.

When the end-user logs in, they must insert the correct YubiKey into a USB port on their system. If the end-user enters their username and password without inserting the correct YubiKey, authentication will fail, and the user will be presented with an error message.

If an end user’s account is configured for Yubico Login for Windows, and if a recovery code was generated, and a user loses their YubiKey(s), they can use their recovery code to authenticate. The end-user unlocks their computer with their username, recovery code, and password.

Until a new YubiKey is configured, the end-user must enter the recovery code each time they log in.

If Yubico Login for Windows does not detect that a YubiKey has been inserted, it is likely due to the key not having OTP mode enabled, or you are not inserting a YubiKey, but instead a Security Key, which is not compatible with this application. Use the YubiKey Manager application to ensure that all the YubiKeys to be provisioned have the OTP interface enabled.

Can you use a YubiKey to login to Windows 11/10?

Yes, you can use YubiKey to log in to Windows 11/10 PC. However, you must have a local account to make use of YubiKey with your computer. While using it on your computer, you must ensure that you have disabled all the remote login methods.

How do I set up my YubiKey login on Windows?

In order to set up YubiKey login on Windows, you need to have three things – YubiKey USB hardware or the physical device, the login software, and the YubiKey Manager software. You need to go through the software installation process first. Next, you can follow the aforementioned steps to get the job done.

Important: Alternative sign-in methods supported by Windows will not be affected. You must, therefore, restrict additional local and remote login methods for the user accounts you are protecting with Yubico Login for Windows to ensure you have not left open any ‘back doors.’

How To Pick A Document Management System For Business

FYI

A well-maintained document management platform can ensure you do not lose records or damage important documents.

Did You Know?

Most of the top document management system providers offer tiered plans with varying levels of features and support, so the best plan for your business depends on your needs and the number of users who need access.

What are the special DMS needs of small businesses?

Although many DMS features are necessary for businesses of any size or industry, there are a few notable features that small businesses should especially look for:

Customer support

Digital uploading capabilities

Scalability

Security and disaster recovery

Ease of use

As a small business, you probably don’t have a full IT team ready to troubleshoot and support your DMS. Find a DMS that has a comprehensive support team to accommodate your support needs.

Weitz said you will need software that can quickly upload all your information and support your expected growth.

“Manually typing in all the files that you currently have would be a nightmare, so it is best to find a solution that offers scanning capabilities or an easy way to update what you have now with what you are moving towards,” he said. “Be sure that what you invest in today will support you as you reach your goals. I have seen many businesses invest in a small option only to outgrow it immediately.”

Mistakes happen – your business needs to prepare for them. Since a poor reputation can destroy a small business, it is essential to find a secure DMS that has good security and disaster recovery features.

“A DMS can provide a cost-effective disaster recovery system for critical information and data so you can be back on your feet faster than your competition,” said Collins.

Bottom Line

As your business grows, you will need to train new hires on your document management system. Employee onboarding will be easier if your DMS is simple to implement, navigate and understand.

“There are many misconceptions about document management systems, and the main misconception is that they’re complicated. This is simply not true,” said Collins. “A good DMS is very simple and easy to use. It is a tool to help employees find important content or documents when needed. If you’re using a cloud system, it’s a great way for employees to access content from anywhere, whether they’re remote or traveling.”

Do your research to find the best document management system for your small business. Weitz recommends making a request for a proposal (RFP) for the top vendors you are considering.

“Once you have this information, schedule a demo with each one so that you can be very clear on how the software functions from a usability perspective,” he said. “Everything might sound great on paper, but the system may not be intuitive or easy to navigate.”

How to choose a document management system Determine your document management needs.

Before you invest in a DMS, assess current issues within your business and determine what is needed to solve them. In the process, include employees who will use the system in the future to ensure the DMS solutions will benefit them. Additionally, consider the future growth of your business and whether the DMS can support you along the way. [Learn about how to choose the best Microsoft document management system.]

Identify reliable vendors.

After you have identified your current business needs, conduct thorough research on vendors and their offerings. Avoid vendors that offer a cheap one-size-fits-all approach. Rather, search for vendors that have experience in the industry, prioritize security, provide customer support, and integrate well with your current systems and applications. Consider features, prices and solutions for each vendor before settling on one. It also might benefit you to talk with the vendors directly.

Prioritize security.

No matter how many documents are stored in your DMS, it is still a huge loss if they are lost or stolen in a data breach. Security should be a high priority when searching for a DMS. Vendors that offer strong security features for their products are worth considering. Make sure to speak with vendors about how often security features are updated and when you’ll know about upcoming updates.

Additionally, consider the access control options available with each vendor. To avoid unwanted access, choose a DMS that allows admins to set permissions, such as read-only, open access or limited access. Admins can manage controls through each employee’s profile.

Verify support options.

With any technology, there is always the chance of user error, updates that mess with operations or users who need assistance. Tech and product support are essential to consider before choosing a DMS vendor. Look for a vendor that offers multiple channels of support, such as phone, online messaging and email.

Additionally, consider the hours of support offered and whether or not that fits the schedule of your daily operations. You wouldn’t want to go with a vendor whose support hours fall before or after your hours of operation if there’s an issue. Find out how long it will take to answer a support request and if there are any additional fees.

Additional reporting by Sean Peek.

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