Some PCs include a TPM (Trusted Platform Module), a microchip attached to the motherboard that provides hardware-based cybersecurity. You can add a TPM to your PC if it doesn’t come with one, but you’ll need a motherboard that has a TPM header to do so.
The TPM can store artifacts for authenticating your PC, such as passwords, encryption keys and certificates. In addition, the TPM can store protocols for ensuring the security of your PC. This includes authentication, or making sure your PC is truly your PC, and attestation, or making sure a PC hasn’t been breached.
TPMs can also be found in smartphones and network equipment.
You can learn more about TPMs from the Trusted Computing Group.
This article is part of the Tom's Hardware Glossary.