Protecting Hard Drives and Preventing Data Theft

We are all aware about the dangers of failing to protect our data. With so much of our day-to-day activities conducted online the information on our computer hard drives could be worth a fortune to a crook or ID fraudster.

From online passwords to our entire bank account details can be stored on our computer hard drives and while we take pains to ensure our data is protected when we go online. However, despite all the precautions we may take to ensure our usernames and passwords are safe, very few of us take pains to protect hard drives themselves.

And yet, information that is recorded on a hard drive can be there permanently. Even computers that have long since stopped working can have the data off their hard drives retrieved.

And yet, despite this, very few people opt to protect their hard drives from theft and even business machines with highly valuable and sensitive data are left vulnerable.

There are solutions available that can protect servers and computer systems from theft. Most come in the form of a computer safe or server safe that allows the computer or server to be locked away whilst still being useable.

There are other precautions that can be taken too to ensure that data is not left vulnerable:

* Conduct regular property and equipment audits, record missing items.

* Allocate responsibility for equipment to individuals.

* Establish measures to control use and movement of equipment.

* Mark your equipment – Brand the exterior shell of equipment and mark exterior and interior where safe and possible with postal codes.

* Consider the use of passive electronic marking devices.

* Record details of equipment serial numbers/identification marks. Details need to be readily available in the event of theft.

* Anchor equipment to solid furniture, floors or nearby walls using appropriate means.

* User intruder alarm equipment to monitor building or room entry.

* Use product alarms to monitor movement of individual computer equipment.

* Consider tagging equipment using electrical article surveillance methods.

* Store computer equipment within secure rooms/cabinets when buildings or departments are unoccupied.

* Use CCTV and audio recording equipment to monitor buildings and areas where computers are in use.

* Introduce appropriate access control for the building and for serving areas where computers are used.

* Ensure mobile and laptop computers are properly secured when used away from the office.

* Review existing security precautions, regularly.

* If you need more advice then contact your local Crime Prevention Officer who will be pleased to help.

Information provided by London’s Metropolitan Police

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