Everyone should be concerned about data security, and I’m sure that most of you are worried enough to make backups of your computer’s hard drive.
I recommend making at least one backup of your computer’s hard drive onto an external drive.
What about securing that backup?
And what about securing external hard drives in general?
Having an unsecured backup of your files is asking for trouble.
You can go one of two ways to encrypt your external drives — with software encryption (like Windows Bitlocker feature) or with a drive that has encryption built in.
I’ve been testing the iStorage Diskashur2, which is a portable hard drive with built-in 256-bit full disk hardware encryption.
This is a seriously secure hard drive.
The USB 3.1 drive has a built-in cable that’s about 4 inches long, which is a bit inconvenient if the closest USB port on your desktop PC is on the front.
On my Dell desktop at work, I had to make a small platform for the drive, because the cable was too short to set the drive on top of the tower, and I didn’t want it to dangle.
Plug the Diskashur2 into your computer (Mac or Windows) and before you can use it, you’ll have to enter a PIN on the keyboard. Out of the box there is a default administrator PIN you use to unlock the drive. You then need to set your own administrator PIN, which you can use to unlock the drive if you are the only one using it. PINs must be 7 to 15 characters.
You can also set PINs for users. When a user unlocks the drive, the administrator can choose to set the drive to read-only so the user can access data but not add or erase anything.
There are also many variables the administrator can set for user PIN requirements (number of characters, special characters, non-repeating, nonsequential, etc.).
I’m just going to say again, this drive is as secure as any I’ve ever seen.
Unplugging the drive will immediately cause it to lose power, and it will be locked when it’s plugged in again.
The administrator can also set an unattended auto lock duration where the drive will automatically lock after a preset amount of time (5 to 99 minutes).
Finally, the administrator can set a self-destruct PIN that will cause the drive to immediately erase all contents and PINs.
I don’t even want to think about what situation would cause a need for that feature, but if you need that level of protection, you’ll be glad it’s there.
The drives are available in various capacities of 500 gigabytes to 5 terabytes and in four colors. The 2 TB red drive I tested costs $266 from Amazon.