If you are not a technical person, there is no shame in that. You may have skills that I.T people do not have. They may pay you for your service like fixing their car; like-wise, you pay them to fix your computer. However… how well do you, know and trust your computer technician before you hand over your personal data and provide them with full access to your computer?
The Trust Factor
Do you trust the person that fixes your computer or not? Is the person a complete stranger, a friend, or a relative? Because when you hand your computer over to them, they will likely have access to all your photo’s, emails, and personal documents. You will need to trust them and ensure they do not crawl around your computer to find information about you such as, your recently visited webpages or photos that are for your eyes only. Keep in mind, by knowing someone; they may more likely want to snoop around, compared to a complete stranger who has no interest in your personal life. On the contrary, someone that you know may respect your privacy and not go snooping around, while someone you do not know will want to get to know the real you better.
So what can you do about it to protect yourself from the person you pay to fix your computer from snooping around your computer files?
Watch Them Fix It
A simple approach is to watch them fix it in front of you. Not only do you get to learn and ask them questions, you can also ensure they do not open any personal files. If a computer technician cannot fix your computer in front of you, you may want to reconsider using their service. Keep in mind, some computer repair services like a re-installation may take some time, and while they wait for the computer to do its thing, they fix their other customer’s computers. Therefore, there is a chance that they will like it for the entire day. It’s best to use your judgement, or ask in the comment if you are not sure how long a computer fix may take.
Log Out Of Websites
It is important that before you hand your computer over to someone is that you log out of websites you are logged into. This can include Facebook (& other social media websites), or Gmail (& other email clients). I do not think you want someone else viewing your private Facebook pictures or posting promotional services on your timeline.
Clear Your Web Browser History, Cookies and other Data
Better yet is to remove your web browsers history, cookies, sessions, and other data. I have covered how to do this in a previous FAQ “How do I delete my web browsers cookies and private data”.
Encrypt Your Files
Encrypting your files means that someone without the correct password, or key, will not be able to read the encrypted file. By encrypting files, only you will have access. There are a number of programs that you can use such as VeraCrypt, Bitlocker, DiskCryptor, CipherShed and FileVault 2.
Delete Those Photo’s
If you have photos stored on your computer that you do not want others to see, and possibly leak on the internet; you may want to delete them, or move them to an external hard drive for safekeeping. This goes for any time of file, not just pictures.
Fix It Yourself
One other thing you can do which will also save you money is to try to fix your computer yourself. Any type of computer problem imaginable can be answered on this website – the same website computer technicians use. Alternatively, you can ask me for help.
So make sure you know who is fixing your computer, you do not want one of these horror stories written about you.
Photo credit: The National Guard via photopin cc