SHCC WYSIWYG Article from October 2007

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This article was written by Don VanSyckel, the club president, as a part of "The President's Pen".  This article appeared in the October 2007 WYSIWYG newsletter.

Don's Computer Must's

by Don VanSyckel

Most SHCC members have hear me rant about "Backup, Backup, Backup". Well with so many people getting laptops and using them away from home I'm adding a second item. "Encrypt your laptop hard drive and address label the bottom". Here's why, it's all to well know that standard 'windows security' can easily be gotten around by pulling the hard drive and putting it in another PC or an external USB drive case. This works because on the other computer the person is administrator or has full rights. When the laptop drive is mounted on this other computer the laptop drive contents are totally open to the other computer. It take no skill other than buying a $25 external USB drive case and putting the laptop drive in it.

At this point I don't have a suggestion for a good encryption program but I'm starting the search. Anyone have any suggestions? Yes, hard drive encryption might add one more password. Like all "insurance" there is a cost and you have to make your own decision as to if the protection and privacy of your data is worth the price, software cost and extra password.

The reason for the address label is obvious, if the hard drive can't be read then an honest person can't return your laptop without the address label. Hint, maybe some laptop manufacturers are reading this and will get the idea that they should promote a service to their customers of registering the laptop serial number against the owners name and address. What better way to motivate your customers to 1) register their laptop and 2) keep their contact information up to date.

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