A login account for your personal device is a good start. But you should not stop there: encrypt your data storage. Basically, you put a lock on its internal memory, such as the hard drive. But also on external memory, such as SD cards and USB drives.
This is why you should encrypt data:
- Imagine your laptop gets lost, or your tablet gets stolen. Computer criminals could take out the memory and connect it to their computer. All your sensitive and private information is now available to them, along with your employer’s information.
- The same applies to your USB drive, SD card, or external hard drive. Anyone can connect it to a PC and access your sensitive and private information.
- Imagine you want to charge your laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Maybe you want to use a school computer, or perhaps a computer in an internet café. In that situation, unauthorized people can also access the memory – without you noticing.
Encryption: a short explanation
You can compare encryption with the use of a combination lock. It makes it impossible for others to access the data stored on your device. And therefore, the information is useless to them. But do you have to unlock your data every time you switch on your device? No, your own laptop, tablet or smartphone will recognize its own encrypted data. But with the use of another device, your data remain locked off.
How to encrypt stored data?
There are many websites that explain how to encrypt data. Check this (Windows) or this (Mac) out, for example. Do you need help? No problem. Just contact privacy and security via email@example.com.
Tips for USB drives, SD cards, and more
Your device’s internal memory can usually easily be encrypted with built-in software and apps. But this is not true for externally stored data. USB drives, SD cards and external hard drives often require separate software to this end.