Tuesday, 9 March 2010 INDEX

Marketing by passwords

A friend of mine is going through a crisis. Her computer won't let her get access because it's suddenly decided she has to enter a password and she doesn't know what the password is. It all happened because someone installed a USB card (it's a very old computer).

She will probably need to get a new (or at least a newer) computer. What an effective method of marketing the password is. So far as data protection is concerned, it is more or less useless. It probably won't stop your computer being hacked via the internet. And your data is unlikely to be at risk from physical attack unless your home (or office) is burgled.

No doubt some keep secret stuff on computers but how valuable is this material? Is someone really going to spend hours (probably days) trawling through a stolen computer to find secret information. Perhaps, but very unlikely. In any case if the computer has been removed, you've lost the data (password or not).

Since it is extremely hard to back up a computer (I find about half of my back up DVDs fail, especially any aged about two years or more), the whole philosophy that you can keep data safely on computers is thrown into doubt by passwords.

But companies who sell software and hardware, have a lot to gain from them. A lot of people make the final decision to buy something new because they are locked out of their old system.
Tuesday, 9 March 2010INDEX