Basics of Information Security
Accessing information stored in a computer ordinarily will implicate the owner’s reasonable expectation of privacy in the information. See United States v. Barth, 26 F. Supp. 2d 929, 936-37 (W.D. Tex. 1998) (finding reasonable expectation of privacy in files stored on hard drive of personal computer) The below are a few examples to insure your private information remains private.
1. Encrypt the file/folder; Have a passphrase, do NOT use a word due to software that can do dictionary attacks in multiple languages, but you must utilize a passphrase with numbers and characters. DO NOT write it down. If you are a corporation, remember, industrial espionage is rampant. Ex-KGB, and other out of work intelligence officers make a living applying their trade to the highest bidder these days. I prefer PGP, or Blowfish encryption.
2. Use a wiping utility, CyberScrub, Evidence-Eliminator, etc. that wipes the cache area of your computer; this is where passwords are sometimes stored, and the software also has features that allow you to destroy web browsing history, photographs, etc.
3. Trust your computer to no one. Software and hardware devices cost as little as $30 and will record each character you type and e-mail it to the person who wants to know your passphrase, bank account info, etc. Of course, do NOT open e-mail you do not know who it is from since their is spyware you can be e-mailed, and it will install once opened.
4. If you want to put the icing on the computer security cake, use a proxy that does not keep logs of their users activity, and has a rotating IP which makes hacking your computer next to impossible.