Data Security Tips

Article:TECH149266  |  Created: 2009-01-29  |  Updated: 2012-01-30  |  Article URL
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Technical Solution


In general, the ability to protect your data depends on the precautions you take, and no encryption program can protect you from sloppy security practices. For instance, if you leave your computer on with sensitive files open when you leave your desk, anyone can access that information-even if the disk or partition (on Windows systems) is protected using PGP Whole Disk Encryption.



Here are some tips for maintaining optimal security:


  • When you are away from your desk, use a screen saver with a password to deter others from accessing your computer or viewing your screen.

  • Make sure that your encrypted disks or partitions (on Windows systems) are not available to other computers on a network. You may need to arrange this with the network management staff within your organization. Once you have unlocked your disk or partition, PGP Whole Disk Encryption can no longer protect the files. They can be seen by anyone with network access to them. Consider the PGP Virtual Disk feature for storing files that need to be locked even while you are using your computer.

  • Never write down your passphrase. Pick something you can remember. If you have trouble remembering your passphrase, use something to jog your memory, such as a poster, a song, a poem, or a jokejust do not write it down.

  • If you use PGP Desktop at home and share your computer with other people, they will probably be able to see your open files on a disk or partition (on Windows systems) that is protected using PGP Whole Disk Encryption. As long as you shut down a system with a whole disk encrypted disk or partition, or if you remove an encrypted removable disk from the system, all files on the disk or partition remain encrypted and fully protected.

  • Create a PGP Virtual Disk for additional security for sensitive data.

    A PGP Virtual Disk looks and acts like an additional hard disk, although it is actually a single file that can reside on any of your computer disks. It provides storage space for your filesyou can even install applications, or save files to a PGP Virtual Disk but it can also be locked at any time without affecting other parts of your computer. When you need to use the applications or files that are stored on a PGP Virtual Disk, you can unlock the disk and make the files accessible again.

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