Recently, a laptop was stolen from the trunk of a vehicle which belonged to the National Institute of Health. The laptop held unencrypted information of patients who were enrolled in a cardiac study. Information that was on the laptop included patients name, diagnoses of heart disease, MRI scans, and birth dates. Among those who's information was compromised was Rep. Joe Barton, one of the founders of the Congressional Privacy Caucus. According to an article regarding stolen laptop blunders, this isn't the first time a government laptop has been compromised which contained sensitive information.
When questioned about the security precautions taken for the safety of the laptop, Joe Barton had this to say about it. "The information was not encrypted. I don't believe it was supposed to be left unattended. I don't believe it was supposed to be left outside the building," he said. "There are a whole lot of things that shouldn't have happened." When it comes to an individuals personal information, the utmost care should always be taken when handling laptops that may contain sensitive data.
If you are unsure of how to keep your laptop safe, there are many tips for the laptop traveler that will ensure your well being. If you are traveling often one of the safest precautions you can take is to rent a laptop for your trip. A laptop that has been rented will contain absolutely no individual data, and can replace the laptop used at home for business and recreational related travel. See here for more information on laptop rentals and how you can benefit from them.