You may have heard recently that Stratfor Global Intelligence was hacked with the hacker stealing an estimated 200GB to 6TB of data. Stratfor is an intelligence and security firm that works with many large companies, including banks and even Homeland Security.
From the news reports I’ve heard, Stratfor made a simple mistake and did not encrypt its database. I have written numerous articles about encrypting your information. I am not sure proper encryption would have stopped the hacker, but it would have definitely slowed down the breach.
There is no reason to encrypt all your data, just the information that is considered confidential. So your MS Word program should not be encrypted, but an individual Word document containing sensitive information might be.
Warning: You do not want to encrypt all your data immediately and then have no way to decrypt that information. No one can help you if you cannot decrypt your file unless they know the password. I suggest trying a test first and then slowly progress to encrypting all your confidential data. Additionally, you may want to copy all confidential data to external hard drive before encrypting.
I do not mean to scare anyone, but I really suggest you do encrypt and get tech help. If you need assistance with this process or have any other questions, please feel free to get in touch.
Ash Bhatnagar, CFP®
RIA Independence Co.