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Stupid Simple Security Tip #16 – Tales From the Encrypt

Stupid Simple Security Tip #16 – Tales From the Encrypt

By Tom Lambotte | April 8, 2021

We’re not entirely done optimizing your protection – here is another crucial (but easy and FREE!) step towards avoiding catastrophic computer consequences.

You’ve updated your passwords, activated 2FA, patched all your software, and are even using a VPN to log-on at Starbucks — you’ve made significant progress in covering your cybersecurity basics and deserve to celebrate with a caramel macchiato (extra whipped cream!)…but when you get back to the table, your laptop is gone.

Shit.

It’s a common affliction in a quarantine season: so focused online, we neglect real life — forgetting the threat isn’t just hackers, but thieves. Worse yet, if the crooks are tech-savvy, they can access your data and own your hard drive in under 10 minutes.

Luckily there’s a simple proactive measure to protect against such intrusion, and it’s already built into your computer: full disk encryption (FDE).

Your old startup screen might’ve kept your niece out of your browsing history but was easily defeated by professionals, whereas FDE (using pre-boot biometric locks and/or a separate PIN) encrypts everything on your hard drive, rendering your device useless to anyone else.

Best of all, FDE is already installed on your Mac (via FileVault) or Windows 10 device (via BitLocker) – so PLEASE ENSURE THAT IT’S ENABLED!

On a Mac, navigate to “System Preferences > Security & Privacy > FileVault” to check your status. On Windows 10, simply search your settings for “Device Encryption” and verify that it’s turned on.

Most new machines enable encryption by default, but a recent ABA tech survey revealed that only 22% of attorneys were using it: take a minute right now to make sure that you are one of the smart ones.

Maybe we can’t stop thieves or prevent careless misplacement, but with full disk encryption, you can buy some peace of mind while protecting yourself, your data, and your clients from a worst-case-scenario.

Alright, NOW you can enjoy that coffee. 

☕️

  • April 8, 2021

About the Author

Tom Lambotte is a legal technology expert, author and the CEO of GlobalMac IT. He helps Mac-using lawyers with super simple technology, security and efficiency strategies that work. He’s on a mission to help attorneys using Apple computers reduce their security risk and get more out of their technology. Get his free 33 Stupid Simple Mac Tips and score some quick wins to boost your productivity.