When I was in elementary school, my father and brother helped me build my first computer; I had scavenged the parts from the obsolete equipment my school was throwing out.
I had only the vaguest idea of what we were doing, but I distinctly remember firing up a word processor and finding several letters written by former teachers of mine still on the hard-drive. Unfortunately, this kind of leak is not unique.
Just yesterday, an acquaintance told me how he used to dumpster dive at a computer disposal plant and found several hard-drives from the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Unencrypted.
If one wanted to earn a profitable living as a “market researcher”, identity thief, or foreign intelligence agent, buying liquidated computer equipment or working for a photocopier leaser would be a good place to start. Recovering even so-called deleted data is relatively easy with off-the-shelf software and a little know-how.
This article attempts to first explain how data storage works, dispel some of the myths around data destruction, and then tell you how to actually blow that data into oblivion.
Everybody’s has secrets. Everybody has things worth protecting. It could be your family photos, your saved browser passwords, your bank records, or maybe just that totally legal MP3 collection.
Your laptops, thumb drives and even regular desktop computers all have a treasure trove of data that I’m sure you would not want an unscrupulous person to freely rummage around in.
You’re not alone. The military, rebels, banks and corporations have the same infosec concerns. While your information leaking may not cause a national security crisis, it’s a crisis to you. As a prepper, that means you do something about it now, and not when you come back from the coffee shop bathroom to find your computer gone. [Read More…]
If you’d like a better perspective on how dependent we are on digital services, imagine your bank account being looted, locked out of your email, and your Facebook page vandalized.
While we in the preparedness community like to focus on the beans, bullets, and bullion for someday, information security affects the now.
An AR and a stockpile of Mountain House may give you peace of mind, but until your online services and personal data are secured with strong passwords, you should feel exposed. It is by no means the only aspect of information security to be aware of, but for most regular people, it is the weakest link.
Fortunately, this is one of the threats that is free and extremely easy to neutralize. First I will explain the “why” behind passwords, and then the “how.” By the end, you should have an easier time managing passwords and have a way to secure your sensitive documents. [Read More…]