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Storing personal digital information
Old 03-16-2019, 08:57 PM   #1
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Storing personal digital information

I've come to the realization after our recent move that the internal and external hard drives within or attached to my main PC contain too much personal information. Tax files, estate files (ours and family), and emails with information that I wouldn't want stolen. When we moved, those drives came with us on our drive across the country.

Protecting the PC from Internet attacks is manageable, but what about PCs being physically stolen? How do others here protect themselves against that, beyond protecting where you live?

I am starting to think I want to remove this information from my PC and copy to multiple, secured sources. In addition, the PC's internal hard drives would need to be properly scrubbed (deleted is not securely removed). Easier said than done, it seems.
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Old 03-16-2019, 09:12 PM   #2
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Everytime I discard a computer I take out the hard drive and take a sledge to it. Then put in electronic recycle

I store a lot of personal on Dropbox
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Old 03-16-2019, 09:21 PM   #3
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Everytime I discard a computer I take out the hard drive and take a sledge to it. Then put in electronic recycle

I store a lot of personal on Dropbox
Securely erasing a hard drive isn't an issue for me. It's what to do with the sensitive information now while we still own the PCs. Keeping that information on an active internal or external hard drive seems too risky. I am not comfortable with any solution that stores the information across the Internet.
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Old 03-16-2019, 09:59 PM   #4
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I do not do this, but you could store it on an encrypted drive(s). The main thing with protection regarding being physically stolen is that you have the information backed up off site either through a physical drive in another location (safe deposit box) or some cloud service. I believe you can store information on the cloud and it be encrypted. Maybe not bullet proof, but I would think pretty close.
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Old 03-16-2019, 10:06 PM   #5
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I do not do this, but you could store it on an encrypted drive(s). The main thing with protection regarding being physically stolen is that you have the information backed up off site either through a physical drive in another location (safe deposit box) or some cloud service. I believe you can store information on the cloud and it be encrypted. Maybe not bullet proof, but I would think pretty close.
Having dealt with encrypted drives at work, I can see the benefit. But they had the data backed up onsite, and the work area was extremely secure because it was a classified work environment. My only concern is if you lose the encryption key or the drive becomes even slightly corrupted, the data is gone. Obviously, you would need multiple backups just to be sure

You actually started your response with "I do not do this", which I guess was part of the point of my post. I wondered whether people really were concerned with their PCs or external drives being stolen, where the drives were not encrypted.
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Old 03-16-2019, 10:17 PM   #6
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Our drives are encrypted.

Our backup drives are encrypted too.
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Old 03-16-2019, 10:36 PM   #7
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I use Veracrypt to allocate encrypted containers for sensitive data like my finances.
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Old 03-16-2019, 10:37 PM   #8
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I use TruCrypt virtual drives to encrypt our sensitive information (finances, health records, etc.). Then I keep multiple backups of everything, including the encrypted drives.
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Old 03-16-2019, 11:04 PM   #9
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I mainly only have my passwords that I protect but I use the Kingston Traveler encrypted thumb drive. I have two. One is for use at my computer. The other is a backup which I keep in a fire proof safe.

You need a password which you create to open the drive. "The drive locks down and reformats after 10 failed login attempts, so users can rest assured their data is safe even if the drive is lost or stolen;"

It has a cloud backup feature but I do not use it as I think it defeats the security purpose

Here is a link https://www.kingston.com/us/usb/pers...usiness/dtlpg3 They have other models you can investigate.

The other brand I looked at was the Ironkey. While looking it up while typing this response, I see Kingston acquired them. At the time I purchased, the Ironkey was more expensive but perhaps worth it for some. I am told it is more secure and used by people/organizations looking for the highest security.
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Old 03-16-2019, 11:30 PM   #10
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Windows 10 pro or Enterprise has Bitlocker built in, it just needs to be turned on. Also Veracrypt is a way to do a full Win 10 disk encryption. Many Linux distros have an option to do full disk encryption when they are installed.
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Old 03-17-2019, 06:26 AM   #11
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Physical protection of assets is usually overlooked on the home front. When you create more stores, it's more work to track the additional media.
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Old 03-17-2019, 06:32 AM   #12
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Not too concerned. My house is secure enough. My biggest fear is public places, like an airport. I keep close watch at security (I once accidentally grabbed the wrong one, that looked very similar, and the owner started yelling that their laptop was missing, and we got it straightened out), and never leave it unattended in a public place. Keep it out of sight if left in car, and try to avoid that.
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Old 03-17-2019, 06:39 AM   #13
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The theft security angle seems well covered.

I'll add be concerned and take steps to protect against fire, flood or simple mechanical failure. That means backup to another location i.e safe deposit box, trusted friend, etc.

Consider homes destroyed in natural disasters or homes lost to fire. Statistically what is greater risk?
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Old 03-17-2019, 06:57 AM   #14
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On the fly file encryption. (For a start) Email is a different story.
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:12 AM   #15
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Having been rolled up in the data theft at govt levels, and having held security clearances included in the hack, anything anyone wants on me is out there. Even before this happened I just operated like all my info was out there. I back it up for my convenience and in case of computer failure, and sleep well at night. I lock the door and hope an intruder would take my $300 Dell laptop and let me live if it came down to that.
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Old 03-17-2019, 08:40 AM   #16
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The theft security angle seems well covered.

I'll add be concerned and take steps to protect against fire, flood or simple mechanical failure. That means backup to another location i.e safe deposit box, trusted friend, etc.

Consider homes destroyed in natural disasters or homes lost to fire. Statistically what is greater risk?
Agreed. I keep a backup in my fireproof box, and also have a backup on a thumb drive at my son's house that he keeps in a lock box. I sealed it in an envelope with my name on it in my writing, not that I'm really concerned, but it is a way to know that it hasn't been touched. I'll swap that one every 6 months or so.
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