Looks like the Belfast laptop thefts are taking a turn for the worse. I had reported a couple of days back how laptop computers were stolen from Belfast city centre. It was reported then that only civil servants could be affected, although it was not detailed how. Now, further details are showing that the use of laptop encryption software like AlertBoot was warranted.
Laptops Contained Sensitive Data
Affected Department of Finance and Personnel staff were informed that two of the stolen laptops contained files that carried names, addresses, payroll data, insurance numbers, and dates of birth.
Furthermore, a select number of staff also had their bank account information or building society account information listed as well.
With this newly revealed information, it becomes more evident that real data security should have been used. As reported before , the laptops were password-protected–which doesn’t really mean much when it comes to data security.
File Encryption Vs. Full Disk Encryption
The use of full disk encryption would have protected by default all documents stored on that computer, so even non-sensitive information such as, say, a grocery list, would have been protected as well.
The use of file encryption would have allowed only important files to be protected. So, the files with the sensitive, personal information would have been protected, but alas, the world could potentially find out what our civil servant was shopping for.
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