As a man approaching middle-age who doesn’t have kids, I’m surprised I know who Justin Bieber is. I find myself even more surprised that I’m blogging about him. According to reports, Bieber’s laptop and phone were stolen, and there are rumors that there might be nude pics on it (of himself. He’s a guy and a teenager, so nude pics in general wouldn’t be surprising. They’re devices that connect to the internet, after all).
Anatomy of a Crime
According to various sources, Bieber and his tour manager were victims of a theft. While the pop star was performing on stage at the Tacoma Dome, someone broke into the tour manager’s office and made off with various items. Among these were the aforementioned laptop and phone.
Bieber acknowledged the theft on Twitter and noted that “sucks when u take personal footage and people don’t respect your privacy.” Yes, it does.
The mention of “personal footage” and “privacy” appears to have started the rumor mill on the possibility of nudes. Well, that and the fact that this wouldn’t be the first time a celebrity’s device contained data of a very personal nature. There were reports earlier today that such a picture had surfaced on the internet, but the headlines seem to imply that they’re fake.
But, nude pics are not the only problem when it comes to celebrities and their devices. As previous hacks and leaks have shown, contact lists pose a problem, too. Furthermore, everything related to a celebrity’s life is virtually for sale to the rags and online (I won’t go into specifics; the evidence is legion), including pictures of babies. Basically, any data on a celebrity’s laptop or smartphone is sensitive data when you think about it.
An Easy Solution
There’s an easy solution, though, at least the ones addressing stolen and lost devices: encryption software. Most smartphones and tablets today come with encryption built-in, so it’s a matter of just enabling it and ensuring it gets wiped after 10 wrong passcode entries.
For laptops, the procedure is not as straightforward. Some laptops come with full disk encryption components already installed, such as Apple’s Macs. Windows machines can vary, but generally do not come with encryption unless you get an enterprise level operating system.
There are many independently produced encryption solutions out in the market, including TrueCrypt, which is an excellent alternative to paid solutions. But, only if you know what you’re doing and you take proper precautions such as safeguarding the encryption key.
Tossing our hats in the ring, AlertBoot combines laptop disk encryption with smartphone and tablet security under one roof, and leverages the cloud to install security software. The solution is massively scalable, so we had the enterprise in mind when the solution was designed (we were thinking BYOD even before BYOD as a marketing/technical term existed).
However, the benefits of using our product also extend to individuals, which includes the automatic backup and safekeeping of encryption keys (obviously, we don’t copy, backup, or in any way “touch” the actual data on your computers), and multiple ways of resetting your password, if necessary.
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