an unfortunate learning experience for us all

a friend’s home was broken into during the night (while they were sleeping) and thankfully all they took were things. the family is fine, but the macbook(s) are gone… i’m going to focus on the Macs (this is a tech blog after all), but there is a lot of things we keep on our PCs.

the macbook contains all the usual “stuff”:
personal information
account info/passwords
documents
financial documents
emails
contacts
photos
music

like many people – the system was set up for easy access (no password required at startup) and the system was not “protected” in any way. many of us (myself included) think this could not happen to us so we do not think too much about this. we do not travel a lot, we make passwords easy and the same and “we always know where our data is”.

this can change VERY quickly. do you know what data you have on your PC (and only your PC). data that is no where else (photos and music are the quickest examples). do you EVER backup your data to another device (iPod, external drive or online). If you do travel with your PC do you secure it (if someone walks off with it and do you have the data somewhere else, do you know the serial number of the PC and any of the specs – size of hard drive, memory, processor speed)?

scary huh!

there are some GREAT tools. many of them part of the mac, or free to those that sign up. Running mac os 10.5 (leopard) – how about time machine for quick and simple backups, mozy free (for 2gb of online set-it and forget-it backups), iphoto/itunes backup of your files to a DVD or CD?

do you travel with your laptop a lot and worry a little bit about it walking away when using the restroom or grabbing a coffee (or sleeping)? check out this tool called IAlertU from slapping turtle. shareware but does A LOT! not only does it sound an audible alarm if someone moves the machine, unplugs it or presses a key – but that is not all.

built in iSight camera snaps a picture and can forward the image to flickr or email you… smart, smart, smart!

now – in all reality, the people that grabbed the laptops the other night walked out of the house, drove down the street and then a) sold the mac on the street corner for a “great deal” to some unsuspecting person or b) wiped the drives (if they wanted to spend an hour – not sure if they would) and sell it as a new machine with a bit more, for a bit more.

anyone have any history, stories, experiences or lessons they want to share? let us know.

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