Quick Data Security Resources
Before we get to the data security resources, I want to see if you could help me by taking a quick 5 question survey on Firearms Training by going >HERE<
With all of the attention being paid to data security lately, I wanted to share a few resources with you that I've used for the last few years and have been VERY happy with.
First is RoboForm. RoboForm is an encrypted password reminder and form filler that is a plugin for most major browsers, as well as an app for most smartphones. Roboform allows me to have 300+ DIFFERENT username and password combinations to all the different sites that I have logins for. If any of them get hacked, the hackers only get access to that one site…not all the rest.
We've got ours set up so that it syncs between my computer, my wife's computer, and both of our phones. This way, if I get hit by a bus, she can still get access to everything she'd need. To learn more, and for a free trial, go >HERE<
Next is IronKey. IronKey is not only incredibly useful, it is also straight out of a spy novel. Ironkey is a USB thumbdrive that has built in encryption, a built in secure version of FireFox, AND a self-destruct feature if the wrong password is entered too many times. IronKey was created with a grant from the NSA and was designed for NSA and CIA employees to be able to use it to transport secure documents without compromising security.
One of the ways that I use it is that I have an IronKey with me almost all the time that has a lot of my important documents on it that I might need in a hurry if we had a housefire while I was gone.
Another great use of the Ironkey is if you need to use a computer or network other than your own to check your email, make a purchase, or do banking. All you need to do is plug your Ironkey into a USB slot and enter your password (on a randomly generated keyboard on the screen to get around key loggers) to fire up the software on the Ironkey. Then you can activate the tor based VPN (virtual private network–a concept that's too complicated for this article, but basically, it creates a "tube" or "tunnel" from the Ironkey, through the computer you're using, onto the internet, and out at another computer somewhere else in the world so that your data is safer and somewhat anonymous.) There's also a pre-configured install of Firefox that runs off of the Ironkey instead of the browser on your computer that won't save passwords, cookies, or browsing history.
As you can imagine, they're not cheap, but they are incredibly valuable. Ironkey is also not for the technically shy. If you aren't comfortable with tech and if tor, VPN, and randomly generated keyboards don't get you a little excited, then you'll save yourself some cash and grief by skipping the Ironkey. The best prices I've found are >HERE<
The third data privacy tool that I use on a daily basis is StrongVPN. StrongVPN is a virtual private network that allows you to do secure browsing in non-secure locations like coffee shops and free wifi hotspots. I've used several VPN services over the years and have settled into HideMyAss and StrongVPN HMA is a little cheaper, but they're both pretty easy to use once they're set up and Strong has given me fewer issues with search engines and fraud prevention on ecommerce sites.
As a general note, these tools aren't an answer to giving you electronic privacy from an all-seeing government. We're to a point where electronic privacy is a fleeting memory. What these tools WILL do is help keep other people from stealing your logins, financial information, identity, etc. And for that, they're invaluable.