How to keep my data safe and secure?

If you are like me then you will be traveling with all your data all the time. There are two big risks when you do that

1. Risk of losing the data
2. Risk of others accessing your data

I have managed the first one by setting up a daily sync from my laptop to my home server. As you know my life now lives inside a version control. All I need to do is run Pull and Update on my home server. I would have backed up the data without any problem.

Second issue is quite complex. All my important data resides inside a virtual truecrypt volume. Its nearly half as big as my hard disk. Truecrypt is quite secure. But my profile data (for example firefox and chrome profiles, my dot files) live outside and is accessible if somebody has physical access to my laptop. I use Ubuntu on my laptop. Ubuntu allows home directory encryption. For some reason I didn't select it while I was installing it. I don't know how to enable it now? Do you know? How secure is it?

Also is there any other way to encrypt the whole home folder without performance degradation?

10 Responses

  1. ravi atluri says:

    how do you secure your phone and pen drives? they are the ones that get lost more often

  2. Thejesh GN says:

    On phone I use Prey. I am planning to use the same on laptop. Keeps most of my phone’s internal memory safe. But SD card is a problem. I dont have any solution as of now. I try not to have sensitive data on it.

    I generally don’t use pen-drive for sensitive data. If I want to then I use Truecrypt volume. Truecrypt.exe can be placed inside pendrive as a portable exe but needs admin access :(

  3. cruisemaniac says:

    Hi Thej,

    Encryption at any level has a direct hit on performance as the data needs to be translated everytime it is read or written to.

    Tools like Bitlocker provide hardware level encryption of data i.e. your hdd will not mount elsewhere and will not be readable. But the natural hit is performance and speed… I live with this solution on my work laptop.

    With regards to anything mobile, the only way to keep it safe is by not letting people know you have it! Worst of cases, if the thief gets his hands on your MMC / thumb drive, he will format it and reuse it…

  4. Gowri says:


    How do you keep your home server “safe”? I have multiple terabytes of stuff (photos, videos, documents) in external harddisks at home (to which my laptop is backed up to). But other than keeping multiple redundant copies of the HDDs, I am still looking for a good way to back up all that stuff.

  5. karthick says:

    Hi Thej,
    I’ve heard abt Prey and from the site I realize that it sends the location of the device.
    Have you used it? Just wanted to know if its really effective.
    ~ cheers.!

  6. Afreen says:

    Best smart phones of 2011 from Nokia, expected in 2012

    Nokia sure is pulling all strings to get back their dominance over the worldwide mobile market. We all know that lately all the Android based phones and the iPhones have somewhat been more popular among smartphones! Nokia was and still is a brand which makes the best hardware for mobiles. They’ve been known for that and they have managed to maintain that quality over the years. But where they lacked and others took over was the innovation in the software department. Droids and iPhones changed the way people used a smartphone. They came out with some great OS for their phones. All this while Nokia stuck with their old OS, which couldn’t really keep up with the times, and was eventually, considered to be dead. This boring outlook did not gel with the consumers, which led to a decrease in Nokia’s market share.
    Now that Nokia has realised that even the most hardcore Nokia fanatics will change their loyalty with time, they have finally decided to take some action. This is obviously good, both for the consumers, and Nokia as a brand. Nokia fans have reason to rejoice, and even other smartphone users will now have more competitive options to choose from. And if these phones work, Nokia could well get back to the top.
    What Nokia has on offer in the coming times are two big phones. They are being touted as comeback phones for Nokia. Yes, I am talking about the Nokia Lumia 800 and Nokia Lumia 710. Both these phones are expected to bring Nokia back with a bang in the smartphone market. These Windows based phones carry potential to give real competition to other smartphones out there. With the hardware reliability of Nokia and the software familiarity of Windows, these phones are bound to attract attention.
    The key feature of these phones is obviously the Windows 7.5 OS. But that is not it. They are packed with some amazing functions which will keep you hooked onto it for long. Both these phones are in some ways pretty similar, but there ARE some tech differences between the two. The Lumia 800 is somewhat superior to the Lumia 710. As Lumia 710 is targeted more towards a younger audience, the differences are justified.
    What really stands out for the Lumia 800 is its unibody touchscreen interface. It is probably the best looking phone out there, second only to Nokia N9. A 3.7 inch clear-black AMOLED screen, 1.4 GHz processor, 512 MB of RAM, 16 GB of storage and an 8 Megapixel camera combine for a solid smartphone. Although it has a smaller display than the N9 but it is still better than iPhone’s display. The 8 Megapixel camera might work for a casual photographer, but it visibly lags behind the N8 in terms of picture quality. There are a couple Nokia-exclusive apps that give their devices more of an edge than the competition Windows phones. One being Nokia’s popular free turn-by-turn voice-guided navigation, and their new MixRadio online streaming service. It also lets you use about 25GB of free SkyDrive storage for images and audio tracks.
    The Lumia 710 on the other hand is the more affordable of the Windows Phone on offer by Nokia. It’s not too far away in specifications from the Nokia 800. It packs a 5 Megapixel Camera with a LED flash, as compared to the 8 Megapixel Camera on the 800. It has an LCD screen instead of the AMOLED display on the 800. On the inside, though, it is similar to the 800 with a 1.4GHz processor with 512 MB of RAM and 16 GB of storage. And unlike the 800, the 710 has physical buttons on it. So it might not give you the seamless unibody experience that is expected out of the 800.
    Other than these differences, and the price difference of course, both phones look good and are powerful. Their launch is highly anticipated and some early reviews have been mostly positive. Let us wait and watch how the consumers react as it is them who will decide Nokia’s fate in the future.

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