Why Encryption?

For some inexplicable reason I like to carry a usb drive on my key chain chocked full of tools that may be needed and at a moment’s notice. Resulting in the predictable loss of a drive every several months or so. Years back this used to cause me almost unbearable angst. What log files or other data did I have on that drive and who would have access to my coveted technology secrets? I have been saved however from an early grave by implementing a couple fundamental security practices.

The first, and most obvious, is to make certain anything on my precious usb drive is also on my desktop or cloud storage and a part of my backup strategy. Secondly, as a rule mobile data storage should be encrypted whenever possible. I would like to expand more on the later.

Any sensitive data stored on mobile devices such as flash drives, cell phones, tablets and laptops should be encrypted. This should be a particular point interest for employers in this world of BYOD (Bring Your Own Devices) to work. There are a multitude of methods to accomplish this. Vista and beyond professional additions of Windows come with “bitlocker”. Bitlocker gives you the ability to encrypt files and drives with industry standard encryption. If you don’t have the select versions of Windows there are a variety of freeware and pay products available for whatever flavor of your operating system. Lifehacker and GFI can provide some examples. As always, do your homework and see what meets your needs and budget.

Be safe. Get that good night sleep even when that usb drive wonders off.

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