Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Do you trust your bank?

No? Neither would I, however they are still out there doing stupid things. Such as? This story from the Sydney Morning Herald details how a server the bank sold on Ebay still had confidential client information. Um, like how is that supposed to happen? An “honest error” and an “isolated incident” according to the bank. Yeah, right.

 

Being involved in recycling technology myself for worthy causes I can’t tell you how much “interesting” data I have found on machines individuals and businesses have donated. Now I make sure that every machine that I recycle has its information thoroughly wiped to military standards before it is resold, so if I can do that why can’t the bank? It is simply a matter of booting to a CD and allowing to run an erase program. Still, it amazes me how little people value their information.

 

The problem is, think of all the establishments that have information about you stored somewhere on computer. What do they do with their old systems? Do they have a data destruction policy? What about your home PC’s? What happens after they have served their dues? Do you just throw them out? Ah, what about the data? It doesn’t suddenly become unreadable just because the PC is a little slow.

 

Value your data. If you want to keep it private – encrypt it. When you are finished with it - wipe it for once information escapes your control all it wants to be is free and like a genie, it doesn’t care who its master is! The real worry is those businesses who “look” after your data. What do they do? If you feel uneasy I’d ask them.