It’s a common way to think that enhanced computer security is a practice for paranoids or for criminals that have something to hide.
That’s an absurd common place! If you encrypt the hard drive of your PC or you use a secure communication system it’s probable that you will be well know as a strange computer guy or worse… a suspect criminal.
Ignorance! That’s it! And what’s worst, that prejudices maybe comes from someone that has his house locked with most advanced doors and alarm systems, that stores everything in a strongbox and earns surveillance society to watch up on their market down street for thieves and vandals.
Steal a computer or lose one, especially notebooks and mobile phones, is quite common. On our computers there’s our life, our business and work, our subscriptions and so on. Leave this data unprotected is like take all of our goods with us and leave them in our car… opened, with glasses down and the keys in. No wonder if someone can steal the car, with the credit card, the id-card and enough photos and data to know who we are, who’s our family, what’s our work and how much we earn and deposit to the bank, how much tax we pay and who are the people we contact more ofter.
Identity theft in this scenario is like drinking water but once you protect the data on the computer the same way you protect physical goods you are automatically marked as a potential criminal or a “strange computer fanboy”.
That’s witchery accuse from people that doesn’t realize the threat behind stolen personal data. The same is, of course, regarding communications, Internet browsing and software installed.
* Encrypt disks
* Start secure communications
* Browse only certified websites
* Install only trusted software from trusted sources and not pirate one
That’s something absurd that privacy on the net has increased once Snowden revelations have made public the NSA eavesdropping scandal: this means that people think to security only when learn that Government is spying on them but they haven’t done nothing before… when criminals may have spied them the same way.
Keep in mind that, even if you have nothing to hide to the NSA (that can gather informations on you in thousands of ways…) this is not an excuse to leave the computer unprotected because in the large part of cases, threats comes from criminal organizations and not your Government.
If you are worried, respect the law! Inform yourself about legal encryption practices and apply them because even low enforced cryptography is strong enough to resist to common computation forcing. In the other hand, if you are worried about NSA or something similar you need to completely change your habits, maybe evaluating the possibility of cutting off technology by your life or use a technological process that’s not common. What’s worst is that even small companies didn’t pay so much attention on how data is protected and shared. BYOD has added another threat to the secrecy of companies data but while Chiefs has learned quite well the advantages of this work flow, they haven’t learn the threats of having working data accessible by a wide variety of devices configured by their owner and not the CED.
If someone has stolen your computer, you have to make an assessment of what data stored in the computer is unprotected (no, the Windows or Linux access password is not a security measure). If personal data, like IDs (maybe the ID card scan) or photos or something else is accessible, go to the police and tell them this particular that is more valuable than the cost of the computer hardware.
With your data a criminal can steal your identity, causing you really the big problems!