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Ryan Myers
Ryan Myers

Computer Protection Guide

'Processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organisational measures'

Computer Protection Guide


This means that you must have appropriate security in place to prevent the personal data you hold being accidentally or deliberately compromised. You should remember that while information security is sometimes considered as cybersecurity (the protection of your networks and information systems from attack), it also covers other things like physical and organisational security measures.

Technical measures are sometimes thought of as the protection of personal data held in computers and networks. Whilst these are of obvious importance, many security incidents can be due to the theft or loss of equipment, the abandonment of old computers or hard-copy records being lost, stolen or incorrectly disposed of. Technical measures therefore include both physical and computer or IT security.

The purpose of file and disk encryption is to protect data stored on a computer or network storage system. All organizations that collect personally identifiable information (PII) like names, birthdates, Social Security numbers and financial information must secure that data. An organization can be sued if a computer containing PII is stolen and the information is leaked or shared.

The language of data encryption may make it seem impossible, but plenty of simple business encryption solutions exist. For starters, most computers come with built-in encryption programs, though you may have to manually enable some. You can also install several third-party encryption programs for full-disk protection. Plenty of business anti-malware programs include encryption software, and some vendors sell stand-alone encryption tools too.

Apple FileVault provides encryption for computers running Mac OS X. When enabling encryption, FileVault prompts you to store the disk encryption recovery key in your iCloud account, but you can choose to write it down instead.

According to the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of full-disk computer data encryption is $235. This is quite affordable, given that data breaches can cost several orders of magnitude more to correct. Of course, encryption will prove more costly if you lose your key and thus your access, so always keep track of your key.

Going forward, back up your computer regularly. An encrypted disk that crashes or becomes corrupt can result in files being lost forever. If you have a current backup, you can be up and running fairly quickly.

Home: The electronic devices you rely on every day for communication, security and entertainment are at risk for damage and failure due to unexpected blackouts, voltage fluctuations or other power disruptions. A UPS provides battery backup power and protection for electronic devices, including:

Need to get rid of an old computer or other device? Taking certain precautions first can help protect your sensitive information. After all, your computer may store your bank records, Social Security number, passwords, tax records or other personal information. Physical destruction of your device or hard drive is one method to help protect your info, but it may not be the most practical option if you plan to donate or sell the device. Below are some steps to consider taking no matter how you plan to dispose of an old device:

Start the process by making a copy of your files on an external hard drive or a new computer. (Microsoft has suggestions on how to do that on a computer running Windows; and here are Apple's recommendations for backing up your Mac's hard drive.) You should also review any software you have installed on your old computer and research licensing rights. According to TechSoup, you may be able to install some software on multiple computers. But, if not, you'll likely want to remove the software from your old computer so you can retain it for a new one.

Avoid the temptation to just delete your files because, according to the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), it isn't effective. That's because even if you move files to the recycle bin on your computer and then "empty the trash," the information is still there and can still be retrieved, says the agency.

A better alternative, according to CISA, is to use a program that deletes the data and then overwrites, or wipes, the information from the hard drive. CISA recommends that users overwrite the drive's data multiple times using a program that uses all zeros in its layering. Windows computers may have a built-in tool you can use to securely overwrite data. Apple offers instructions for how to clean their hard drives.

Many manufacturer- and retailer-sponsored programs will take your drop-offs or mail-ins and then dismantle the computers for materials recycling. The Environmental Protection Agency offers a list of computer manufacturer and retailer programs that do just that.

If your computer is relatively new, though, you might consider selling or trading it in instead. There are hosts of refurbishers that recondition and upgrade old computers for resale, or for use by people in under-served communities. Microsoft has a list of recommended refurbishers with both commercial and charitable objectives. Meanwhile, Apple has its own refurbish program, and may offer a credit toward another purchase or a gift card for devices it deems viable. If your computer is not reusable, they will recycle it for no charge.

When you are planning to recycle a computer, banging a tool against your hard drive to dispose of your computer can be a satisfying way to take out some frustration on a helpless piece of old technology. And, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) also says it's one way to help protect sensitive data that may be stored inside. According to the federal tech agency, the goal is to bend or break your hard drive (into two or more pieces) to make it hard for someone to recover the data.

Once these preparations are made, it's time to smash the hard drive. The NIST says you should hit it hard enough on the top to make sure you damage the disk surfaces. You should also be sure to damage the ports that would allow it to connect to another computer.

Data protection and privacy is typically applied to personal health information (PHI) and personally identifiable information (PII). It plays a vital role in business operations, development, and finances. By protecting data, companies can prevent data breaches, damage to reputation, and can better meet regulatory requirements.

A data protection strategy is vital for any organization that collects, handles, or stores sensitive data. A successful strategy can help prevent data loss, theft, or corruption and can help minimize damage caused in the event of a breach or disaster.

Data protection principles help protect data and make it available under any circumstances. It covers operational data backup and business continuity/disaster recovery (BCDR) and involves implementing aspects of data management and data availability.

Data privacy is a guideline for how data should be collected or handled, based on its sensitivity and importance. Data privacy is typically applied to personal health information (PHI) and personally identifiable information (PII). This includes financial information, medical records, social security or ID numbers, names, birthdates, and contact information.

Data protection regulations govern how certain data types are collected, transmitted, and used. Personal data includes various types of information, including names, photos, email addresses, bank account details, IP addresses of personal computers, and biometric data.

Data privacy is focused on defining who has access to data while data protection focuses on applying those restrictions. Data privacy defines the policies that data protection tools and processes employ.

Your privacy policies should clearly outline what protections are needed for your various data privacy levels. Policies should also include processes for auditing protections to ensure that solutions are applied correctly.

Mobile device protection refers to measures designed to protect sensitive information stored on laptops, smartphones, tablets, wearables and other portable devices. A fundamental aspect of mobile device security is preventing unauthorized users from accessing your corporate network. In the modern IT environment, this is a critical aspect of network security.

Data protection and privacy is a broad topic. A successful data protection procedure can prevent data loss, or corruption and reduce damage caused in the event of a breach. Data privacy methods ensure that sensitive data is accessible only to approved parties.

Organizations usually store sensitive data on their computers, servers, and on the cloud. Without a proper data security policy, sensitive information can fall into the hands of attackers, enabling them to gain access to your network, and expose the personal information of customers and employees.

Continuous Data Protection is a method for backing up data every time a change is made. A continuous data protection system maintains a record of all data changes and enables you to restore a system to any previous point in time.

This type of backup solves the problem of losing data created between two scheduled backups. It also provides protection against attacks like ransomware or malware, as well as accidental deletion of data.

Department of Labor (DOL) contractors are reminded that safeguarding sensitive information is a critical responsibility that must be taken seriously at all times. DOL internal policy specifies the following security policies for the protection of PII and other sensitive data:

Contractors should ensure their contract employees are aware of their responsibilities regarding the protection of PII at the Department of Labor. In addition to the forgoing, if contract employees become aware of a theft or loss of PII, they are required to immediately inform their DOL contract manager. In the event their DOL contract manager is not available, they are to immediately report the theft or loss to the DOL Computer Security Incident Response Capability (CSIRC) team at 041b061a72


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