One area many consumers tend not to focus on when shopping for laptops is security. Odd, considering that laptops are perhaps the most vulnerable types of PCs since they are used everywhere, from the library to the coffee shop.
Both of these places fall victim to the downfalls of public networks: no encryption, no blacklist/whitelist, and various security risks in the form of cybercriminals and hackers. Not exactly the best type of network for your laptop, especially if you tend to handle a lot of sensitive or personal information on it.
Unfortunately, because of the aforementioned lack of focus, many companies don’t focus on security either. Aesthetics, performance, size: all of these take precedence over security. Not ideal.
And out of all the companies to fight the status quo, I’m a bit surprised HP is the one taking charge in bringing a bigger focus to security–at least in the laptop market.
You may take a look at that statement and wonder what I mean but have no worry. I will explain the situation to you in great detail, starting with the new partnerships HP has accrued in the past couple/few months.
HP Announces Two New Partnerships
In the press release HP published for the new Spectre x360 13, they go over all the improvements made over last year’s Spectre 13, including a security section, which goes into detail about what’s been added.
Among the additions is a button to electronically turn off the webcam, a dedicated mute button for the microphone, an optional, built-in privacy screen that–unfortunately–will not be available until 2020, and yes, two partnerships with two different cybersecurity companies.
These cybersecurity companies are ExpressVPN and LastPass. You could probably tell from the name, but ExpressVPN is a VPN software (in this case for Windows, but apps for other devices are also available) –a pretty reputable one at that. LastPass, on the other hand, is a password manager dedicated to storing and encrypting your passwords.
For the release of the new Spectre 13, HP partnered with these two companies in order to expose new users to these types of cybersecurity solutions. The new Spectre will come with both ExpressVPN and LastPass preinstalled. Along with preinstallation, users will receive a free 30-day trial to both of the programs, allowing them to try them out before spending money on both. After all, why preinstall the programs if users won’t even get the chance to try them out?
Why These Partnerships Matter
You may take one look at this news and brush it off, wondering why it matters enough to bring up. These partnerships matter because the tech industry, as you know, has a few issues with cybersecurity, mainly keeping a certain standard of cybersecurity that most users expect.
Surely I don’t need to remind you of the numerous data breaches that have taken place over the past two years? Users are becoming more and more aware of the fragility of their security, and HP knows this, which is why they’re making a move now. A move to expose a wave of new users to these cybersecurity solutions in an effort to help users secure their own data. After all, if tech companies won’t put in the effort to secure the user, what else is there to do besides the user themselves doing it?
Of course, HP has only partnered with two cybersecurity companies; there’s no promise they will actually lead to anything. Perhaps it won’t. But I applaud HP for trying, especially since, as I mentioned at the beginning of this article, many consumers don’t even pay attention to security in the first place.
Best case scenario: HP’s two partnerships influence other tech companies to attempt the same thing, making these tools more accessible to those unaware of their existence. One can dream, right?
HP’s new Spectre x360 13 may be nothing but a reiteration of last year’s model, but it builds upon that model and adds new features that make it the new king. Out of all these added features and upgrades, the security upgrades stand tall.
With laptops being the most vulnerable types of PCs when concerning worms and other types of harmful software transmitted through networks, it’s important to keep laptop security tight. With HP focusing on it more than some other laptop companies, we can hope that other companies will take notice and start focusing on security as well.
If you’re at all interested in the new Spectre laptop/the free 30-day trial for ExpressVPN and LastPass, you can head on over to HP’s website where all the specs, features and details are laid out. You can also check out the press release. While the new Spectre may not be reinventing the wheel, it’s certainly trying to refine it, and sometimes, that’s all we need.