If you have any sensitive data on your laptop, please do NOT think that data is safe if you have set up a Windows logon password.
If someone steals your laptop (this is and has been a big target for thieves), would you like them to have access to your personal data?
There are many relatively easy ways, that anyone with a little technical knowledge, can get access to all of the files on your computer. For example, another administrative user on the PC can easy gain access to your file, someone could connect your hard drive to another computer and easily copy data, or they could use one of the many utilities out there that are designed to reset Windows passwords.
The answer – ENCRYPTION. Encrypting your entire drive (or optionally just some data) WILL keep your data safe (ok, probably not from the NSA, but is there really anything they don’t have access to these days?).
This is NOT difficult or complicated to setup, is NOT expensive to implement and does NOT require the constant entering or remembering lots of cryptic passwords. Just turn your computer on, enter your password and access everything just like you always have.
There are many FREE options for doing this. Some versions of Windows have Microsoft’s BitLocker installed. TrueCrypt is a free, open-source encryption solution I have talked about many times on Tech Solutions Radio. It can encrypt your entire drive or just a folder. Encryption is automatic, real-time (on-the-fly) and transparent.
If someone tells me that they lost their Windows password and they need me to get them access to their data – I say ‘No problem, give me a few minutes..’
If someone tells me that they lost their encryption password and they need me to get them access to their data – I say ‘Lots of luck to you…’ (any chance you backed up that data – I hope so!)
A word of caution – It is EXTRA important that you backup your data if you decide to encrypt your drive. If you forget your password, have a data corruption or hard drive problem, the encryption may prevent normal recovery methods from getting your data back.
If you need help protecting your laptop or maybe even your whole network, we have friendly, knowledgeable technicians at Discount Computer Service that can help you with this at your place or ours. Call us today at 410-358-7300.