Back to Contents Page

Securing Your Computer

Dell™ Latitude™ D620 User's Guide

  Security Cable Lock

  Using Smart Cards

  Passwords

  Trusted Platform Module (TPM)

  Security Management Software

  Computer Tracking Software

  If Your Computer Is Lost or Stolen



Security Cable Lock

NOTE: Your computer does not ship with a security cable lock.

A security cable lock is a commercially available antitheft device. To use the lock, attach it to the security cable slot on your Dell™ computer. For more information, see the instructions included with the device.

NOTICE: Before you buy an antitheft device, ensure that it works with the security cable slot on your computer.


Using Smart Cards

NOTE: For information on how to secure your computer while traveling, see Traveling With Your Computer.
NOTE: The smart card feature may not be available on your computer.

About Smart Cards

Smart cards are portable credit-card shaped devices with internal integrated circuits. The top surface of the smart card usually contains an embedded processor under the gold contact pad. The combination of the small size and integrated circuits make smart cards valuable tools for security, data storage, and special programs. Using smart cards can improve system security by combining something a user has (the smart card) with something only the user should know (a PIN) to provide more secure user-authentication than passwords alone.

Installing a Smart Card

You can install a smart card in the computer while the computer is running. The computer automatically detects the card.

To install a smart card:

  1. Hold the card so that the gold contact pad is facing upward and pointing toward the smart card slot.

1

gold contact pad

2

smart card (top)

  1. Slide the smart card into the smart card slot until the card is completely seated in its connector. The smart card will protrude approximately 1/2 inch from the slot. The smart card slot is located below the PC Card slot.

If you encounter too much resistance, do not force the card. Check the card orientation and try again.


Passwords

About Passwords

NOTE: Passwords are disabled when you receive your computer.

A primary (or system) password, an administrator password, and a hard drive password all prevent unauthorized access to your computer in different ways. The following table identifies types and features of passwords available on your computer.

Type of Password

Features

Primary

  • Protects the computer from unauthorized access

Administrator

  • Gives system administrators or service technicians access to computers for repair or reconfiguration
  • Allows you to restrict access to system setup in the same way a primary password restricts access to the computer
  • Can be used instead of the primary password

Hard drive

  • Helps protect the data on your hard drive or external hard drive (if one is being used) from unauthorized access

NOTE: Some hard drives do not support hard drive passwords.
NOTICE: Passwords provide a high level of security for data in your computer or hard drive. However, they are not foolproof. If you require more security, obtain and use additional forms of protection, such as smart cards, data encryption programs, or PC Cards with encryption features.

When using passwords, observe the following guidelines:

NOTICE: Passwords provide a high level of security for data in your computer or hard drive. However, they are not foolproof. If you require more security, obtain and use additional forms of protection, such as smart cards, data encryption programs, or PC Cards with encryption features.

If you forget any of your passwords, contact Dell (see Contacting Dell). For your protection, Dell technical support staff will ask you for proof of your identity to ensure that only an authorized person can use the computer.

Using a Primary (or System) Password

The primary password allows you to protect the computer from unauthorized access.

When you first start your computer, you must assign a primary password at the prompt.

If you do not enter a password within 2 minutes, the computer returns to its previous operating state.

NOTICE: If you disable the administrator password, the primary password is also disabled.

To add or change passwords, access User Accounts from the Control Panel.

If you have assigned an administrator password, you can use it instead of the primary password. The computer does not specifically prompt you for the administrator password.

Using an Administrator Password

The administrator password is designed to give system administrators or service technicians access to computers for repair or reconfiguration. The administrators or technicians can assign identical administrator passwords to groups of computers, allowing you to assign a unique primary password.

To set or change administrator passwords, access User Accounts from the Control Panel.

When you set an administrator password, the Configure Setup option becomes available in system setup. The Configure Setup option allows you to restrict access to system setup in the same way that a primary password restricts access to the computer.

The administrator password can be used instead of the primary password. Whenever you are prompted to enter the primary password, you can enter the administrator password.

NOTICE: If you disable the administrator password, the primary password is also disabled.
NOTE: The administrator password provides access to the computer, but it does not provide access to the hard drive when a hard drive password is assigned.

If you forget the primary password and do not have an administrator password assigned, or if you have both a primary and an administrator password assigned but forget them both, contact your system administrator or Dell (see Contacting Dell).

Using a Hard Drive Password

The hard drive password helps protect the data on your hard drive from unauthorized access. You can also assign a password for an external hard drive (if one is being used) that can be the same as or different from the password for the primary hard drive.

To assign or change a hard drive password, enter the system setup program (see System Setup Program).

After assigning a hard drive password, you must enter it each time you turn on the computer and each time you restore the computer to normal operation from standby mode.

If the hard drive password is enabled, you must enter it each time you turn on the computer: A message appears asking for the hard drive password.

To continue, enter your password (with no more than eight characters) and press <Enter>.

If you do not enter a password within 2 minutes, the computer returns to its previous operating state.

If you enter the wrong password, a message tells you that the password is invalid. Press <Enter> to try again.

If you do not enter the correct password in three attempts, the computer tries to start from another bootable device if the Boot First Device option in system setup is set to allow start-up from another device. If the Boot First Device option is not set to allow the computer to start from another device, the computer returns to the operating state it was in when you turned it on.

If the hard drive password, the external hard-drive password, and the primary password are the same, the computer prompts you only for the primary password. If the hard drive password is different from the primary password, the computer prompts you for both. Two different passwords provide greater security.

NOTE: The administrator password provides access to the computer, but it does not provide access to the hard drive when a hard drive password is assigned.

Trusted Platform Module (TPM)

NOTE: The TPM feature supports encryption only if the operating system supports TPM. For more information, see the TPM software documentation and the help files that came with the software.

TPM is a hardware-based security feature that can be used to create and manage computer-generated encryption keys. When combined with security software, the TPM enhances existing network and computer security by enabling features such as file protection capabilities and protected e-mail. The TPM feature is enabled through a system setup option.

NOTICE: To secure your TPM data and encryption keys, follow the backup procedures documented in the Broadcom Secure Foundation Getting Started Guide. In the event of these backups being incomplete, lost, or damaged, Dell will be unable to assist in the recovery of encrypted data.

Enabling the TPM Feature

  1. Enable the TPM software:

    1. Restart the computer and press <F2> during the Power On Self Test to enter the system setup program.

    1. Select Security® TPM Security and press <Enter>.

    2. Under TPM Security, select On.

    3. Press <Esc> to exit the setup program.

    4. If prompted, click Save/Exit.

  2. Activate the TPM setup program:

    1. Restart the computer and press <F2> during the Power On Self Test to enter the system setup program.

    1. Select Security® TPM Activation and press <Enter>.

    2. Under TPM Activation, select Activate and press <Enter>.

NOTE: You only need to activate the program once.
    1. Once the process is complete, the computer either restarts automatically or prompts you to restart your computer.


Security Management Software

The security management software is designed to utilize four different features to help you secure your computer:

Activating the Security Management Software

NOTE: You must first enable the TPM in order for the security management software to have full functionality.
  1. Enable the TPM feature (see Enabling the TPM Feature).

  2. Load the security management software:

    1. Turn on (or restart) your computer.

    1. When the DELL™ logo appears, press <F2> immediately. If you wait too long and the Windows logo appears, continue to wait until you see the Windows desktop. Then shut down your computer and try again.

    2. In the drop-down menu, select Wave EMBASSY Trust Suite and press <Enter> to create the icons for the software components on the computer desktop.

    3. Press <Esc> to exit the setup program.

    4. If prompted, click Save/Exit.

Using the Security Management Software

For information about how to use the software and the different security features, see the Getting Started Guide for the software:

Click Start® All Programs® Wave EMBASSY Trust Suite® Getting Started Guide.


Computer Tracking Software

Computer tracking software may enable you to locate your computer if it is lost or stolen. The software is optional and may be purchased when you order your Dell™ computer, or you can contact your Dell sales representative for information about this security feature.

NOTE: Computer tracking software may not be available in certain countries.
NOTE: If you have computer tracking software and your computer is lost or stolen, you must contact the company that provides the tracking service to report the missing computer.

If Your Computer Is Lost or Stolen

NOTE: If you know where the computer was lost or stolen, call a law enforcement agency in that area. If you do not know, call a law enforcement agency where you live.

The Dell customer service representative will log your report under the computer Service Tag and record the computer as missing or stolen. If someone calls Dell for technical assistance and gives your Service Tag, the computer is identified automatically as missing or stolen. The representative will attempt to get the phone number and address of the caller. Dell will then contact the law enforcement agency to which you reported of the missing computer.


Back to Contents Page