It's all too often that laptops are stolen and data like company secrets and employee social security numbers is divulged to unauthorized sources. It's not just that; there are a number of reasons why you might want to enforce the privacy of your digital documents. It might have something to do with the U.S. government's recent publishing of its policy for seizing laptops at borders or maybe the FBI has knocked on your door once before (true story).
In case you've wondered what an FBI agent's business card looks like.
I'm going to take a guess and say that most people have enough information on their hard drive, or accessible through their hard drive (ie, passwords that can be used elsewhere), for a computer-savvy criminal to easily steal their identity.
Taking out the human element, which is still a huge part of security if you've ever read Kevin Mitnick's The Art of Deception, the chances of your identity being stolen from your stolen laptop can be significantly reduced with hard drive encryption. Apple's built-in FileVault home folder encryption doesn't count. If Apple built it, they can most likely give certain authorities backdoor access. Well I take that back, there's no need, FileVault has already been cracked.
Enter PGP Whole Disk Encryption for OS X. The just released application encrypts your entire hard drive and has pre-boot authentication.
PGP Whole Disk Encryption locks down the entire contents of a laptop, desktop, external drive, or USB flash drive, including boot sectors, system, and swap files. The data encryption software continuously safeguards data from unauthorized access, providing strong security for intellectual property, customer and partner data, and corporate brand equity.
I won't go into the details until I test it out this weekend and report back. PGP WDE isn't cheap and retails for 120 USD but if you like the idea of hard drive encryption and don't mind if it doesn't cover your entire OS drive, check out TrueCrypt.
Disclaimer: Everything has vulnerabilities, potentially even PGP WDE. I am not: a lawyer, a security expert. I am: 22.
What security precautions do you take with your precious data?