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Physical Security

An important item to keep in mind at this point is the need for physical security. Imagine the following scenario: You return home from work one day and see that a break-in has occurred. Not only are several valuable items missing, but your home computer has disappeared as well. Most people immediately begin thinking about their data that was lost. But wait, backups were religiously made according to a schedule. But where are those backups? In most cases, they were probably left unsecured next to the computer. Businesses often spend a great deal of money addressing these issues on a larger scale with off-site backup and recovery processes, and as an individual, these same issues should be addressed, although on a smaller scale.

Think about all the data that resides on the computer that was stolen from your home. Do you keep your family budget on the computer? Do you use TurboTax, Quicken, Microsoft Money, or any other personal finance or tax software? Do you keep personal letters and correspondence on the machine? Does your computer contain files of historical or sentimental value? All of this information is potentially disclosed to that third party. It's come to the point where the data is more valuable and important than the computer. A PC can be purchased for less than $1,000 today, but the cost of losing the data can easily exceed several times that amount. Not so long ago, it was the other way around.


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