Improving Security Through Device Encryption
Modern society is a society on the go. Taking personal devices on travel has become second nature. It’s important to remember that those devices access and store personal information that may cause difficulties if the device becomes lost or stolen. In order to protect their devices, friends and family should be encouraged to enable drive encryption.
Making a long password is great, but anyone with physical access to a device and a password reset CD, DVD, or other bootable medium such as a system repair disk or recovery drive can gain access to their devices by changing the login password. This can be done easily in only a few minutes and the hacker does not require knowledge of the user’s original password to perform this hack. A tutorial of how to do this can be found here:
To properly protect lost or stolen devices, hard drive encryption is an excellent security practice! The Hard Drive is the device on a computer that stores information so the computer can startup and save files. One encryption option is to use Windows’ included software “bitlocker.”
The bitlocker software will make the hard drive unreadable unless the user has the key to unscramble the encrypted drive contents. This means that if anyone steals a computer, they may have the hardware, but none of the sensitive information like your family’s email contacts or personal photos.
Bitlocker becomes another step for anyone wishing for this added layer of security as it will prompt the user for the hard drive password before the computer can start loading the necessary information to load the windows login prompt. Please note that bitlocker may take up to a couple days (depending upon hard drive read/write speed and size) to encrypt the entire hard drive.
If a malicious individual acquires a friend's of family member's device, the use of an encrypted hard drive can protect their information.