Encryption software for desktop computers is not a bad idea at all, as the following story shows. According to kxan.com, a man posing as a computer repairman walked into two schools in Austin, Texas and walked out with five computers.
Assumed He was Legitimate
Two Texas schools were defrauded of their computers in November 2011. A man showed up at a school, walked into a classroom, and told teachers that he was to pick up computers for repair. Most of the teachers assumed he was legit. The man made off with two computers. He repeated the same one week later at another school, netting three more computers and a projector.
A review of security camera footage and subsequent campus-wide alerts led to staff recognizing him as a contracted computer technician who had previously worked with the schools. He is still at large, although computers were retrieved from pawn shops.
The story reminds me of the Khaki Bandit, a man who’d dress up in corporate uniform, walk in to the offices with a bunch of employees, “work late” until there was no one around, and then steal laptops. Sure, the M.O. is different, but not how the crimes were perpetrated.
Computer Encryption Software Protects Data Against Theft
The fact that a computer is a desktop computer is no guarantee that it won’t be stolen. In fact, it appears that, in the above case, desktop computers were targeted on purpose.
While I doubt that sensitive personal information was stored on these computers (after all, they were computers used in the classroom), it highlights the importance and usefulness of computer disk encryption protection. With encryption the data is kept safe from the thief’s eyes, no matter how a computer is stolen from a location: break-ins, impersonation, muggings, etc.