Due to the massive adoption of computer technology over the past two decades, computer security and privacy threats have risen to an all-time high. This series will begin by focusing on the basics of computer security, and then delve deeper into key tools and tactics provided by security and IT professionals in the Das Keyboard community who are at the forefront of thwarting these threats.
In this, the first edition, we will be highlighting physical level security products that anyone can purchase. These items can be the first step to taking control of your digital environment and will help you ensure greater security and privacy while protecting you from eavesdropping and external interference.
Your webcam can provide an eye into your life to cyber attackers, the government, and even private companies vying for your data. Furthermore, security bugs in mainstream software can make computer webcams accessible to remote attackers. This can be a very real threat as was shown when Zoom video conference service security flaws affected millions of professionals.
Forget sticking a Post-It Note to your laptop or desktop webcam, plastic webcam covers are a more elegant and usable solution for combating potential spying. With the ability to slide to close or open, these inexpensive webcam covers will allow you to close your laptop seamlessly.
Mic-Lock Microphone Blocker
This compact little device fits the 3.5mm microphone port of your laptop or phone and blocks any audio recordings that you’re worried about. Mic-Lock becomes your device’s primary microphone and stops governmental agencies, private companies, and other entities from listening in on your most private conversations.
Whether you’re having a private discussion with your significant other, or discussing finances with your lawyer, the Mic-Lock microphone blocker blocks all your conversations from being heard over the Internet by unwanted third parties. Just plug it in and stop cyber attackers or third parties from tuning in.
If you want to be able to watch videos and listen to music while you’re blocking your microphone, the Mic-Lock with SOUNDPASS microphone blocker is what you need. It’s the upgraded version of the Mic-Lock and best of all, there’s no loss in sound clarity.
It blocks hackers and other unscrupulous individuals from using your microphone as well as your speakers to listen to you. The best part is that both these devices cost under $10.
Apricorn Aegis Padlock Fortress USB 3.0 Hard Drive
With this hardware-encrypted USB drive, you get military-grade data encryption and the FIPS 140-2 level 2 protection standard used by the U.S. government. There’s a physical keypad for security and there’s no extra software installation required to set it up. Additionally, it can run on any platform.
No one can access your data unless they know the User PIN you use to unlock the drive – remote access to your drive is also prevented, so if hackers want to access your data on the drive, they would physically need to input your PIN into the device. The drive encrypts the data in real-time and the circuitry of the drive is coated in tough epoxy which cannot be removed without damaging the internal wiring. Furthermore, the USB drive is 10 times faster than normal drives; allowing quick data transfer while eliminating the need for extra cables for connection.
The Aegis Padlock Fortress also locks itself after a number of failed attempts. Automated attempts are blocked and after trying to enter failed PIN numbers repeatedly, the encryption key will self-destruct and you won’t be able to access your data. A 2TB storage version of this device is available for $248 on Amazon.
USB Port Locks By LINDY
If you use your laptop in public places like cafés, it can be problematic leaving the device unattended for even the shortest period of time. Lindy Type C port blockers can give you the peace of mind knowing that no one is accessing your data while you’re distracted.
It uses a lock and key approach to tackle data safety and security – there’s one key for each port blocker. This tool can also be beneficial for system administrators where they can prevent data theft by blocking phones, pen drives, and other storage devices.
RFID Blocking Bags & Wallets
While you’re out in the city with your laptop, smartwatch and phone are susceptible to RF Hacking without an RFID blocking bag or wallet. With this added protection in place, you can ensure your electronics aren’t talking to the cloud behind your back, no one is targeting your location, trying to steal your data or access card credentials by using proximity pocket scanners. Even without any RFID blocking protection, it is important to be aware of your surroundings and to be more cautious at large events, or when going to and from work if you work in a construction zone, power plant or high-security facility.
There are many computer security threats to be aware of, and these physical security tools can be the first step in protecting your computer. If this series is well received by the Das Keyboard community and proves to be valuable on the topic of computer security, we hope to look to IT and security professionals for their security insights. If you are interested in guest blogging about this or another topic, please submit a topic and your contact information for consideration.