Craig continues his explanation of what you need to do if you have to take your computer to a shop to be repaired. This segment covers encryption.

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Automated Machine-Generated Transcript:

Craig Peterson: [00:00:00] We’re going to talk right now a little bit more about removing that personal data before you send it in for repair and a couple of other things that you need to know about your rights when it comes to repairs.

Hey, you’re listening to Craig Peterson. Thanks for joining us today.

Next up is probably pretty obvious to everybody make sure you’re very selective about who you trust. What’s the reputation of your work with them before? If you’re dealing with a managed services provider, They have a fair deal, in fact, of responsibility for your data.  If they are a federal compliant managed security services provider, then there are federal laws to help protect some of your data.

But if you leave that data on that computer, it’s like not paying for the guy that did all of the yard work outside who brought in the bulldozers and the trucks full of soil, et cetera. They have a mechanics lien on your home. They can take that right out of you and even force the sale of the home in order to get paid.

Kind of similar in the computer world. They did put in the time to fix a computer, they might’ve added parts, et cetera. So when you sign that contract, when you’re dropping that thing off, remember that you kinda are signing your computer away. That is not a good thing for you if you don’t come back in the 90 days, because that computer and all of the data on it becomes not yours.  It becomes the repair shop’s data and computer. They can do with it, whatever it is they want to do with it. That’s, what’s gotten Hunter Biden into some serious trouble here and Joe Biden as well. Remember this, isn’t a Hunter Biden problem.

It’s now showing some major corruption on the part of Joe Biden. So if it’s true, Where did this all start? Well, he’s kept his head down pretty well for 47 years in the US Senate, et cetera. But, this one thing just dropping the computer off for repairs could be a problem.

Encryption is important. Remember most of us are just using what’s called encryption at rest. In other words, the data is encrypted while it’s on the disk. That does not meet some of the higher standards of various regulations, but it’s okay. It’s a start.  So you use encryption on the disk, you use the builtin windows encryption or the built-in Apple encryption as well. Now there are some very good tips here as well. That has to do with your keys. I keep all of my keys, my software keys, my log-in keys, license keys in a vault. An encrypted vault.

There is another level of that. It’s something that we are trying to convince our clients that they need to do because some regulations are requiring it now. Although most companies are not doing it. That is, it has to not just be kept in an encrypted vault, but half has to be kept in an encrypted vault that will self-destruct if someone tries to get into it.

So keep your software keys, separate, keep them off of your main computer. Nowadays put them in your smartphone in an encrypted vault. I use one password there. You can use LastPass, which is another good one. There are many others, but keep them on a separate device. This again is the next step ultimate insecurity. We get into this in our cybersecurity mastery program. When we’re talking about some of these different levels that you have to comply with, but you can have a unique key for each disk, that’s stored on a separate machine so that when your computer boots up, it has to go to the separate machine in order to get the keys in order to decrypt and use your hard disks. Okay.

That’s way above and beyond what home users are going to do. It’s way above and beyond what a SOHO, a small office home office business is going to do. It is absolutely required for government contracts here in the next three years, it’s already required today for some vendors. 

There’s one more step here we’ve got to remember. That the repair guys have to be able to repair your computer. You’re going to want to make it easy for them to access your device.

A word of caution. We’ve had stories, and I have personal knowledge of people working at some of these big companies. Many of us look at it and say, I’m not going to take it to Joe’s repair shop, because who knows if they’re going to repair properly or what’s going to happen to my data, et cetera, et cetera.

 There was a great article we talked about when it came out a couple of years back from one of the bigger companies out there that have a squad of people that go around and install equipment, fix equipment, et cetera. Where some of their stores were being paid a bounty. What would happen is you’d bring your computer in and they would look at the data on the computer. They would check to see if they could find kiddie porn or anything else illegal, such as well pictures of you smoking crack cocaine, which is what’s alleged here on Hunter Biden’s computer. They would get paid a few hundred dollars, that technician, for finding it. How’s that for scary? They would work with the police. The police had a bounty program. It was just absolutely nuts.

So how easy do you need to make it for these people? Don’t go crazy with making it easy for them. In fact, in many cases, before I would possibly take a computer in for repair,  of course, I don’t, right? We repair them ourselves. Or we have a repair company come out and we watch them repair every step of the way.

 What I would do is remove that drive, no matter what kind of computer it is, and then take it in for repairs. The company that’s doing the repairs, they’ve got bootable USB drives that they can just plug right in, boot it up, it’s up, it’s running. Life is good and they give it back to you.

Hopefully, the problem isn’t that, that hard drive was bad. But again, hard drives are easy enough to replace. But what you going to do to make it easy for them to repair, if you’re going to ship it to them or give it to them with the hard disk intact, is to remove the password.

Now I’ve done that before with my Apple computers, taking them into Apple for repairs. I also make sure that there’s nothing on the machines. We’ll make sure the backups good, which you should be doing anyway. Then we wipe the computer by destroying the key, the encryption key for that computer. Then we reinstall the operating system and we test the machine again because sometimes it’s just the operating system got messed up. Particularly if you’re dealing with a windows computer. So that’s always a good thing to do anyway. Then when we give the computer to the repair guy. She’s going to be able to just run it and it’s not going to require a password and life is good, right? She’s often running.

That’s what I would recommend as opposed to just removing the password on the computer. Remove the password, destroy the address by simply deleting the key and you can do that with these disk and full disk encryption programs, and then reinstall windows or Mac iOS, whatever it is. Check your machine again, make sure it’s still not working the way you want it to, and then take it in for repairs.

Things do break. It doesn’t matter what kind of computer it is. It doesn’t matter if it’s a smartphone or a laptop or a server, they are going to break. There’s your basic tip. Make sure you got the backups. Make sure everything is as it should be. So that you’re not going to get nailed and your data’s not gonna get stolen if the bad guys did hack into your computer and use it as a store and forward for illegal materials, they will no longer be on that computer.

Stick around. We’ll be right back and make sure you get my newsletter. Craig

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