Over time, pundits of data security and data recovery have always said to back up your data. Many of you are listening, but what do you do beyond that to secure your valuable information?
We carry so much data with us daily that we may be putting our data at risk without even realizing it. Do you leave laptops, backup drives, phones, etc. in your vehicle on the way home from work when stopping in to do some grocery shopping? Imagine what could happen to the data on your device if it came into the hands of someone looking to do harm. Crooks looking for credit info, personal banking access, etc. You’re essentially leaving an open gateway to your digital life if you don’t have a deterrent in place. In the very least, please don’t transport your laptops in sleep mode. This usually gives a perpetrator unfettered access to everything on your computer. Most often if someone tries to boot your system and it has a password, they may forget about it or dump it and move on. You’ve lost your machine and data but you’re not prone to fraud or worse.
Recently in the news in Canada, a hard drive was found that had been lost since 2012 belonging to the federal government. It contained personal information of over 500,000 people that had obtained government loans. This hard drive did not have any password protection or encryption of any kind. The fallout was enormous and resulted in an investigation by the Federal Privacy Commissioner.
That’s an extreme case but consider what happens to your data when out of your hands. Have you ever taken your computer in to be repaired for some reason? Has an outside party ever had to access your computer or hard drive for a reason that’s not exactly clear to you? Would you know if it had been?
At Kroll Ontrack, our business is data, recovering it and securing it for clients. Data security is top priority. We take extreme security measures like allowing only Kroll Ontrack authorized employees to access your data and returning all customer data in an encrypted format and.
Today, many computers and almost all external hard drives have some sort of password or encryption available on them for data security whether they be software or hardware related. My advice is to set them up and use them. You never know when you’ll lose your computer bag, have a break in or possibly need to leave your device unattended for a brief moment. Better to be safe than sorry.