In this digital age, there’s no shortage of threats out there that can cause problems for you and your computer. Viruses, spyware, malware, and hackers are just a few examples of the numerous outside sources that can seriously risk your privacy and security.
To prevent the risks from becoming a reality, it’s important that you take the time to secure your computer whenever possible. You can do this in many ways, but one of the most important is ensuring your PC’s UEFI/BIOS is secure. Here are three ways you can do just that.
1. Set a BIOS Password
If you have a PC, chances are it allows you to lock the BIOS using a password. In the BIOS, you can set Administrator and User passwords. These passwords help protect you from outside threats by limiting who can access your PC and change its settings.
BIOS passwords, when entered, prevent unauthorized users from starting the computer, booting from removable devices, and changing BIOS or UEFI settings.
Note that you can use password reset tools to bypass BIOS passwords on a computer, but it remains a challenging job in many ultrabooks and tablets. If you’d like to protect your private or highly confidential data, encrypting your hard drive is a better option.
2. Enable Full-Disk Encryption (FDE)
Another way to secure your PC’s UEFI/BIOS is through full-disk encryption (FDE). In short, FDE is a data protection method that encrypts all of your computer’s data, including programs, documents, and more.
FDE means that all data in the system’s hard drive is transcribed from plain text into ciphertext, making it functionally unreadable to anyone who doesn’t have the correct decryption key.
The idea behind FDE is that if someone gets their hands on your computer without your permission, they won’t be able to access any of the data stored on it. This is because, to access your data, the potential hackers would need to enter a valid encryption key.
Unlike with an unencrypted PC, if you lose your encryption key, there’s no easy way to retrieve your data. As such, it’s important to have a backup of your files in case you lose access to the device. You can also use a password manager to keep a copy of your encryption key.
Full-disk encryption is usually done using tools in the operating system. For example, Windows PCs can be encrypted using BitLocker. Local accounts do not have BitLocker turned on by default, but you can manually enable it using the Manage BitLocker tool.
3. Enable TPM
Another method you can use to secure your PC’s UEFI/BIOS is through the use of a Trusted Platform Module (TPM).
A TPM is a chip on a computer that’s designed to provide hardware-based security by generating, storing, and limiting the use of cryptographic keys.
The chip is often built into the motherboard and is used on computers with built-in encryption features. For example, if you enable full-disk encryption on your computer, then the TPM chip would be used to store the encryption keys. This means a hacker can’t just remove the drive from your PC and access its files elsewhere, at least in theory.
Secure Your PC by Protecting Its BIOS or UEFI
It’s crucial that you take the time to secure your PC’s UEFI/BIOS in whatever way you feel comfortable with. You can do this in several ways, including changing your BIOS password, enabling FDE, and enabling TPM.
Protecting your system right inside the BIOS helps ensure that sensitive data stored on your PC’s hard drive remains safe from outside threats. This means that even if your computer is stolen and sold on the black market, the sensitive data stored on it will still be safe from prying eyes.