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PDAs

A PDA is a small, handheld computer that allows you to store and access data. Most PDAs work on either the Palm operating system, a Windows-based one, or on the RIM Blackberry device. Most PDAs allow you to do basic things such as store names, addresses, phone numbers, schedules, and appointments. The more sophisticated ones also run applications like word processors and spreadsheets. Some devices are even wireless, allowing remote access to things like e-mail, stock quotes, and news alerts.

Handhelds carry a wealth of sensitive data. Typically, a user's entire electronic phone book—complete with names, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mails—can be found on the device. The user's calendar—along with notes, comments, and to-do lists—are also all on that handheld. Medical doctors and others also use these devices to store sensitive information about other individuals. Doctors frequently store a patient's medical information as well as medical reference material on PDAs. Many users have come to completely rely on these pocket-sized devices. Those same small devices are relatively easy to lose and steal. How does one keep these devices from falling into the wrong hands? Even if they do fall into the wrong hands, what can be done to minimize the impact upon the user's privacy?


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