Computer Theft - Protecting Data and Identity.
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Everybody is now aware of the growing problem of identity theft; it is a huge
global problem. All personal information is incredibly valuable to criminals who
can use it to open bank accounts, get credit cards, loans, state benefits and
documents such as passports and driving licences.
Whether at home or at work, people are now fully aware that the personal
information they hold, from financial statements to health records, needs to be
protected and we invest in shredders to destroy our paperwork and make sure our
online activities are secured by firewalls and anti-virus software.
Some companies including banks and hospitals are now ensuring their computer
hard drives are completely destroyed after use due to many new Government
mandates forcing the protection of peoples personal data.
However, all these measures are futile if the PC itself gets stolen; along
with the hard drive and all your personal files and those of your customers. Yet
it is estimated that a million PCs and laptops are stolen globally each year
exposing personal details of hundreds of thousands of people.
Having a computer stolen also has a cost, not just the money you spent on
buying it or the money to replace it. There is the inconvenience to you, your
staff, your company, the loss of records and the possible loss of business.
Over just the last three years it is thought that 150 million personal
records have been stolen, that is twice the entire population of Great Britain.
Hospitals are amongst the most vulnerable of places where reception areas or
administration buildings are often left unattended. At the beginning of 2008,
88,000 people had to be notified when a hospital PC was stolen from Staten
Island, New York along with all their personal details. In fact McAfee and
Datamonitor's Data Loss Survey, 2007 suggest a data breach that exposes personal
information on average costs companies $268,000 (£136,000) to inform their
customers, even if that lost data is never used, a third of companies surveyed
also said a major security breach could put them out of business.
And Britain's Metropolitan Police force is now issuing guidelines
recommending that companies: Anchor equipment to solid furniture, floors or
nearby walls and store computer equipment within secure rooms/cabinets when
buildings are unoccupied.
But it is not just businesses and public buildings that have to think of
computer theft. Home users are increasingly using computers for Internet banking
and financial transactions, alongside the storing of personal files such as
photographs. Whilst insurance will cover the cost of losing a computer and I'm
sure you have backed-up all your files (haven't you?) but what about your bank
account details, conveniently stored on the machine for any crook to access.
Fortunately some companies have identified the problem and low cost PC safes
have now been developed that can house PCs securely whilst still allowing users
to access them. These safes are tamper proof and can withstand even that most
tenacious of thieves. They can also be bolted to the floor or walls allowing
computers to be left unattended in public areas and also providing ideal
security for business and home users alike, protecting machines and more
importantly the data they hold.
About the Author
Copyright 2008 © Richard N Williams Richard N Williams is a technical author
and a specialist in the industrial computer industry helping to develop
industrial computer enclosures and
protection for all environments. Please visit us for more information about
computer enclosure solutions.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-05-28 23:24:10 in Computer Articles