Saturday, November 5, 2011

Protecting your Gadgets in Daily Life

As a sort-of hobby I spend a fair bit of time reading Apple's Support Community to see what problems folks might be coming up against using the gadgets, and occasionally I'm able to provide some help. One trend I've been seeing a lot of lately is people posting about how to get a lost or stolen iDevice or laptop back. What amazes me the most about all of these posts, is the fact that none of these people have enabled any of the security settings on any of these Apple devices, nor do they apparently have any insurance.

Apple does provide ways to recover misplaced or lost gear. Exhibit 1 is this great over-view of the new FileVault in OS X 10.7.2. But all the security features in the work are worthless if you, the end-user, don't use them to protect yourself. Honestly, I only have one response when I read that plaintive whine of "how do I get my stuff back!"

Your stuff is gone. Get over it. File an insurance claim and replace it. Move on.

I understand this gear is expensive. I've plunked down thousands of dollars over the years for both Apple and photography and scuba gear. This is why I have insurance. To protect my investments. I know the police are not going to do anything to help me recover a lost iPhone or laptop. It is my responsibility to protect my stuff. And that means enabling the password protection, and remote wipe features on my iPhone and iPad. So if I lose one of those items someone can't easily get into it and get any information. The devices will wipe themselves after 10 unsuccessful attempts to enter a password. It's a good feature... use it.

And after reading that Macworld article I'm going to enable FileVault, full-disk encryption sooner than I had planned to.

This will also be a prime concern where ever I get stationed by the Peace Corps. I'm not really all that concerned about the hardware, since I will have insurance to cover it all. But I am more concerned about the security of my data. I don't want a nefarious person to get access to any of my data, nor do I want to lose any of it. Data security is what FileVault is all about; backups will make sure I can recover everything in a timely manner.

So the long and short of this post is: take responsibility for your expensive gear and data and make use of the tools already at your disposal. You'll cause yourself less stress in the long run and be happier. And don't get so attached to physical things. It's not healthy.

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