02 Oct Why your laptop needs to be encrypted
Imagine your laptop in the backseat of your car. You put it there because the car trunk was full of old computers destined for the e-cycler. You forget about the laptop as you park your car and head into the supermarket near your house. It’s late and it’s dark outside, but you’re just in time because they’re closing in 15 minutes and you just need to get some fruit and veggies for tomorrow’s superlative double egg omelet. As you round the produce section with an armload of goodies, something on the guy’s T-shirt in front of you, jogs a memory. Mustard. Over the word “Intel.” Make chips. Not to eat. For laptops.
The store is now closed and you don’t want to run out to check on the laptop in the backseat of your car and not be able to get back in the building, and suffer a fruitless breakfast the next morning. So you quickly zip thru the self checkout line and practically sprint to the car. Only to come across a fairy like sprinkling of safety glass near your car. You look and see a gaping hole where there used to be a nice shiny window, but is now just an unobstructed view onto a very emtpy back seat.
You groan. But inside, you smirk. You give yourself a little proverbial pat on the back. You know that while it’s going to hurt having lost that machine to some low life probably still running in the dark perpendicular to your present location, it isn’t going to hurt as much as it could have, had you NOT encrypted your laptop a few months ago.
Encryption is a term used in the science of cryptography. The word itself is formed of two words “en” or “to make possible” and the word “crypt” a Greek word meaning concealed or private. By encrypting something like a laptop, we would make all the data within it private or concealed. We do that using a program like “Truecrypt” which is a free public domain encryption tool. Using that program and a “key” that you devise yourself, the data on that laptop can be made VERY private. So private, that Truecrypt made the news in 2009 when some apparent bad guys had their hard drives seized by authorities who were unable to crack the encryption – which just happened to be Truecrypt based.
“But I’m not a criminal”, you say. “I don’t need to encrypt my data.” The response to that is simple. It isn’t the good guys that you want to keep away from your data. But people like the one who might steal your laptop from your car at night, or from your office in the middle of the day. You definitely don’t want those people accessing your data on your laptop, that might give them access to your bank accounts, your credit cards, your private information that could ultimately lead to the theft of your identity.
Call Seerx. We’ve been encrypting laptops with “TrueCrypt” for a number of years now. In fact every new laptop that we sell, gets encrypted before our clients see them for the first time. That way, both they and ourselves can sleep calmly at night knowing that if the laptop were to disappear, its data won’t be able to be viewed by others. And the valuable data on that laptop? We know it shouldn’t be there – that it SHOULD be on your main server that you access via some sort of remote control program. But if you’re like most people and still like to keep files locally on that laptop, we can help get your most crucial data backed up safely offsite (or in this case, off-laptop), using our GotData? backup program.