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Security and Privacy Guide

Step 6 - Hardware

Router with a Firewall


  • Hardware Firewalls and Routers: skip

    Dial-up with a Router


    Configuring a router for use with dial-up is tricky and difficult. If you use dial-up, I recommend getting one of the following wi-fi devices instead.

    Note: These devices may slow down your connection considerably. Wireless Link by Nebo Wireless slowed mine from 52 Kbps to 36 Kbps.

    But if you'd rather use a router with dial-up, look for DSL, ADSL or 1 x RJ-11.

    The Best Data Security and Privacy Option: A GNU/Linux Live CD, DVD or USB with Software, Data and Encryption Key on a USB Key (Encrypted USB Drive)

    Warning: An encrypted removable medium can't protect you from password-capture utilities and hardware key loggers, ''recording devices that could be physically installed on your computer's motherboard, inside its box or keyboard, or remote monitoring of your computer activity thru its radio-frequency emissions, such as 'Tempest' attacks.'' - Information on Knoppix-MiB Live CD skip

    The Second Best Data Security and Privacy Option: CompuSec Hardware-Based Encryption

    The Third Best Data Security and Privacy Option: A Seagate, Fujitsu or Hitachi Encrypted Hard Drive with Phoenix Failsafe and A Trusted Platform Module


    Warnings About Encrypting Your Data and Storing and Entering Encryption Keys

    The Seagate Momentus, Fujitsu MHZ2 CJ and Hitachi Travelstar laptop / notebook hard drives come with full, or whole, disk encryption (FDE) and support for Phoenix FailSafe and the Trusted Platform Module, a combination that allows you to protect or securely erase sensitive, confidential, private data.

  • These FDE drives come with ''a disk erase feature that lets [you] quickly and securely wipe drives of sensitive data. Seagate claims this can happen in seconds regardless of the drive's capacity because there is no software initialisation required.'' - article at Techworld.com

    And if your laptop / notebook or its hard drive gets stolen before you securely erase your sensitive data, that data will remain fully protected even when the hard drive is repurposed (installed on another computer).

    The alternative to these combinations is to encrypt your whole hard drive with full disk encryption software and save the key, or password, in a Trusted Platform Module.

    The Fourth Best Data Security and Privacy Option: Whole Hard Drive Software-Encrypted and A Trusted Platform Module


    The Trusted Platform Module allows you to send and receive secure e-mail, encrypt files and folders with EFS (not recommended!) and create an encrypted virtual drive, called a Personal Secure Drive (PSD).

    According to HP.com, a Personal Secure Drive provides the following benefits:

    Security and Privacy Guide

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