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Thread: laptop theft

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    Platinum Lounger
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    laptop theft

    I think that the front-line defense is to make the latop un-available to a would-be theft. Zip the bag, never leave it out of your sight, don't leave the laptop un-attended, even hide it when you go out shopping; whatever.

    In the event that the laptop does disappear, I'd like to be certain that the client data is unavailable.

    What are you using, right now, to encrypt or otherwise render absolutely useless the contents of your laptop hard drive in the event that your laptop is stolen or mis-laid?

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    Re: laptop theft

    I know it's not foolproof (and perhaps a bit naive), but I generally trust NTFS (Windows XP Pro) for basic security.

    I don't really have any sensitive data on my laptop (i.e. financials). If I did, I would probably use an encryption tool, just in case.

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    Re: laptop theft

    I keep all my data on a PGP encrypted virtual disk.

    StuartR

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    Re: laptop theft

    I don't do this, but if I had information on my laptop that was "for my eyes only", it wouldn't be on my laptop. I'd have it stored on a file server that is secured, and use the laptop to access the file server via VPN.
    Christopher Baldrey

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    Re: laptop theft

    I am soon going to be looking at the practicalities of using EFS (Encrypting File System) on our XP laptops, but I have to determine just what can and what can't be encrypted...

    A similar. but less extensive, problem is presented by USB Flash Drives.

    John
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

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    Re: laptop theft

    I use EFS on a folder of sensitive data. The rest is rather wide open.

    Having once forgotten my administrator password, I know that there are CD images you can download to generate a Linux boot disc with a handy tool to blank out that password. Once you restart Windows as the local administrator, about the only thing you can't do is automatically decrypt EFS-protected folders.

    When the laptop is stationery, I use a combination cable lock. It took me 4 hours to brute force crack it when I forgot the password, so I figure that's a pretty good amount of protection against casual thieves. Professionals present a different problem. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

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    Re: laptop theft

    > , it wouldn't be on my laptop.
    Thanks, but it just mioght be if your laptop was used like mine - to hold client demo data to show to clients.
    (Actually, it's such a big/fast machine that it is my desktop machine, uses a KVM cable to hook up to a proper keyboard, decent monitor & real mouse).
    Like it or not, I've got stuff on there, and while I can't be 100% effective in thwarting theft or (my) loss-of-memory, I owe it to my clients to make more than a toekn effort at data encryption.

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    Re: laptop theft

    Thanks. I didn't even know that I was using NFTS. Turns out I am. I managed to encrypt a file, showed up green (orange?) in File Explorer, but i was not asked for a password. I imagine that's because I don't use a password to log on to Win/XP, right? I could live with a boot-time password if it encrypted all my files.

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    Re: laptop theft

    Thanks, I suspect this is what I referred to in <post:=567,220>post 567,220</post:>
    Flash drives seem to be a solution akin to my drives-on-=rails on the Big Beige Box, but the real problem lies in drives embedded within a portable machine. If I'm at a client site, working in a cubicle, and take a washroom break, the laptop is vulnerable.

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    Re: laptop theft


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    Re: laptop theft

    Actually we use the PGPDisk functionality of PGP Desktop, but for personal use you could use the <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15> http://www.pgpi.org - think that the last freeware version to include PGPDisk was 6.02i.

    StuartR

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    Re: laptop theft

    Thanks. I've d/l the freeware and will give it a try.

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    Re: laptop theft

    <hr>I think that the front-line defense is to make the latop un-available to a would-be theft. Zip the bag, never leave it out of your sight, don't leave the laptop un-attended, even hide it when you go out shopping; whatever.<hr>

    "A pair of eyeballs are the strongest locks" I've heardbikers say.

    The thing is, someone with physical possession of your hard drive for any length of time will be able to compromise the data.

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