Mephitis mephitis, Philosophiæ Doctor (floyd_mephit) wrote,
Mephitis mephitis, Philosophiæ Doctor

No (more) love lost

I bought a new laptop this weekend - a new, from-the-store 11" MacBook Air, with 128GB solid-state drive, 2GB RAM (which much to my dismay is NOT upgradable -- I wish the "salesman" (who don't seem to know much of anything about their products like they used to, or for that matter be motivated in the least to actually, y'know, *sell* something) would have told me that first), no optical drive, very light, very thin, very sexy. I bought it because, as I don't know if I've even mentioned here, I lost my iPad shortly after the new year. Gone, poof, disappeared. Almost definitely picked up by a thief within minutes of me setting it down somewhere and turning my back, but because I'm so scatterbrained I didn't notice for almost a week. I contacted AT&T (who I have the iPad's 3G contract with), and they confirmed it was still receiving data. That last part scared me because I'd hoped it'd had time to auto-lock before someone got their thief-hands on it.. 10 wrong guesses and all data would've wiped. If I'd installed the little fancy app on it, I could've tracked the damn thing myself..but I didn't. So I had ATT suspend (but not cancel) my 3G service so I could still be grandfathered into the $30 unlimited data plan that they don't offer anymore.

But there was sensitive data on the iPad.."adult" pictures, unpublished scientific data, saved passwords, bank statements, high-res images of porn I'd commissioned (which only I have the right to own, unlike the low-res versions posted on FA and such), emails to my mom, etc. etc., which I really really hope the thief wasn't able to get into. But that's the thing..I don't know. I'll know if I ever see that unposted porn actually posted, and if my identity gets stolen, and soforth. Not a pleasant thought. Although neither is the thought of me getting two beautiful iPad cases less than a week before I lost the damn pad..

All of it made me think long about security, which I've become super-complacent about in the past few years. I carry a cellphone at all times (ALL times - think about that when I'm chatting with you on IM), and I had that iPad with me often as well, and now the MBA replacement will be, too. That's not to mention the MacBook Pro which I've had for almost 4 years sitting on my bed (where the cleaning ladies whose backgrounds I know nothing about come in my room twice a month), and the brand new gaming PC I built in my living room always on w/o any passwords on it, and the work computer which has an attached external hard drive containing almost everything I care about in the world, data-wise.

I don't protect my data well enough. I'm going to try to change that meaningfully in the future, so that when (not IF, but's only a matter of time before I lose another expensive toy) I have an "oh shit" moment, I don't have another "OH SHIT" moment. I can (barely) afford to lose a computer, but I cannot afford to deal with true theft of a lot of the things inside of it.

But, I've rather forgotten how to be more secure with my data. I started setting my new lappy with a swipe-to-turn on screensaver/password lock, and set my password to 17 characters instead of 6. I'm considering running the "FileVault" data encryption program for my SSDs too, although I dunno how that'd affect my ability to dual-boot it. I'm starting to make a point of locking my work PC when I get up, and turning it completely off when I go home. I need to find a good program to encrypt my external hard drive. Any suggestions? I'm going to wipe my old MBP lappy clean of all data and then reformat it, and probably resell it for a bit of cash (after I replace the keyboard on it). I've changed all of my online passwords to much larger (and all different) versions, and am looking through several articles for other tricks and tips to improve my poor security habits. It's an incredible hassle to do all of this, and honestly I'm just a nobody with nobody data, but I do like the idea of keeping my nobody data safe.

As is always the case I'd love to hear if anyone's got anything to suggest about this kinda thing.
Tags: gadgets, questions, rambling

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