The public has become more and more aware of using safe practices to protect themselves from identity theft. People are opting out of credit cards offers, shredding mail, carefully screening e-mails and using anti-spyware and keylogger programs. These practices help people avoid having their personal information stolen from their mail box or on-line, but what happens if your laptop itself is stolen? What happens then? And what if it is from a business, organization or government agency? How do we protect the information on our laptops?
According to the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigations, “Laptop theft is the second most common computer crime and less than 2 percent of those stolen laptops are ever recovered. Four in five (81%) of US firms have had at least one laptop stolen containing sensitive information according to a recent study.” The total records compromised from laptops from 2005-2006, 32,771,838 and in 2006, 31,796,167, and were from companies such as gas and energy, county, state and federal government agencies, retailers, colleges and universities, hospitals and banks. Well known corporate and government agencies top the list from the Veteran’s Administration and Navy to the Bank of America.
In 2008, the NIH has 2500 patients information compromised with the loss of stolen laptops, as well as some 337,000 Nashville residents when county official realized that thieves had broken into the building and stolen laptops, the cost to the county will include over 1 million dollars as they provide identity theft protection to those affected by the theft. According to Paul Stevens, Director of Policy and Advocacy with Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (a private advocacy group) there have been approximately 217 million records stolen in the past three years, 2005-2008.
These thefts are not limited to the United States, but occur across the world. In January of 2008, The UK’s Ministry of Defense began a review of information security policies after a stolen laptop resulted in a major security breach. The laptop, stolen from a vehicle used by a military recruitment officer, had information on approximately 600,000 people. Much of the information was basic contact information but for 153,000 individuals more sensitive information was exposed including passport information, National Health Services numbers, driver’s license numbers and medical information. For an additional 3, 700 people, financial and banking information had been stored on the laptop. What’s worse, the database stored on the laptop was not encrypted.
Unfortunately, the data contained on laptops is not limited to corporate or business data, or personal data obtained and stored for marketing purposes, but individuals store many personal details on our computer such as banking, credit card, personal and investment information, not to mention pictures and information on friends, family and children. Whether stolen from corporate or business users or contracts or from the individual, when this data falls into the wrong hands it can be used to apply for any number of financial opportunities under false names by identity thieves.
Access to the information on our computer is not limited to a simple theft, even if your laptop were not permanently stolen, how long would it take for a thief to “borrow” it, copy all of your information and return it? Not long at all. Is there anything you can do to protect your own laptop, your personal information and your identity? Yes! IronKey offers a hardware-encrypted USB flash drive to protect your secure your most important portable data. No one can access the data on your IronKey if it is ever stolen, lost or “borrowed.”
Features of IronKey:
* Drive contents encrypted using AES CBC-mode encryption.
* A True Random Number Generator for the maximum protection generates encryption keys in hardware.
* Securely stores passwords.
* Fast (30MBPS) Read
* Fast (20MBPS) Write
* Encased in a potted metal case- not plastic which makes it one of the strongest USB keys around
* Exceeds military waterproofing standards.
* Has the ability to safely tunnel through insecure wireless networks.
* IronKey does not require software, drivers, or administrator privileges. When the US Military needed portable storage secured, IronKey did the job. Other passwords can be hacked but not IronKey passwords. After 10 incorrect password attempts, the encryption chip self-destructs, making the contents of the flash drive totally unreadable. Understand that the flash drive itself does not self-destruct but the encryption chop does so the contents are completely unreadable.
How your IronKey is made:
IronKey utilizes a precise die-casting metal process to construct the Iron Key’s metal casing to exact specifications for thickness, strength and durability. Iron and other metals are used to make the strong metal shell. IronKey is waterproof and tamperproof. No one can tamper with an IronKey without destroying or causing irreparable and noticeable damage.
What do reviewers have to say about IronKey?
“The security on this drive is clearly second to none. Anyone business owner that deals with sensitive information really should consider these drives. If there is even a slim chance that the data could be stolen or lost this is the drive for you,” says Matt DiCecca, legitreviews.com. He adds, “While the IronKey distinguishes itself from the competition in its features like encryption, secure browser, and overall security features, it seems a no-brainer for any security conscience company to opt for a drive in this genre. In the larger scheme of things $80 is a small price to pay for peace of mind and security.”
IronKey has products for personal or business use, from 1 GB up to 8 GB, starting at $79.99. IronKey is like a personal “Fort Knox” for college students, businesses or anyone who wants to protect their personal information and their identity.