At least, that is how long it would take me to hack into any Microsoft Windows account – 2 minutes! Very worrisome, isn’t it? Goes to show that anyone that thinks his data is safe just because it is tucked away in his passworded Windows account would really need to have a rethink.
I will not go through the process of how to go about hacking a Windows account here,sorry, but a quick search on the Internet would give you a number of options you can use.
So does it mean all hope of having a secured Windows Operating System is lost? Far from it!
One quick option that is within the reach of about anyone is the use of BIOS PASSWORD.
A BIOS password can be very effective at controlling access to your personal computer. All you need do is access the setup menu of your laptop and enable the Bios Password. Subsequently, once you switch on your PC – at the hardware level – you are prompted to insert a password before booting up any Operating System. If the computer won’t boot up until a password is entered, it is effectively useless to most would be opportunist hackers or other intruders.
However, the Bios Password is not hackproof. A determined hacker can still use online resources to hack the password or may just extract the hard-drive from the laptop, insert into another and hack away.
Another option is creating vaults within your hard-drive using tools like Steganos Safe software. The software allows you to protect your data in several ways. It enables you to create a secure area on your hard-drive or on removable media such as a USB key. It works just like a real vault, protecting all of your data from unauthorized third-party access. Without the right password, nobody can retrieve the contents. You can read more about this software here.
Lastly, we have Microsoft’s own Bitlocker. Probably the most secure of the lot, BitLocker Drive Encryption is a full disk encryption feature included with the Ultimate and Enterprise editions of Microsoft’s Windows Vista, Windows 7, and with Pro and Enterprise editions of Windows 8 desktop operating systems. The latest version of BitLocker, included in Windows 7 and Windows 8 adds the ability to also encrypt removable drives, as described here.
Bitlocker is an effective and essential tool for protecting sensitive data, it effectively addresses the threats of data theft or exposure from lost, stolen, or inappropriately decommissioned computers.
BitLocker lets you encrypt the hard drives allowing you to protect your hard drive from offline attack. This is the type of attack where a malicious user will take the hard drive from your mobile machine and connect it to another machine so they can harvest your data. BitLocker also protects your data if a malicious user boots from an alternate Operating System. With either attack method, BitLocker encrypts the hard drive so that when someone has physical access to the drive, the drive is unreadable.
Now if there is a need to harvest data from a hard drive when a machine fails, there are tools that you can use which will prompt the admin for the recovery key that was given when Bitlocker was being enabled on the drive.
Note that BitLocker does not protect the computer contents while Windows is running. BitLocker was specifically built for offline attacks.
There are still many more data security options out there not mentioned but the ones listed are very much tested and so far, trusted. No one knows tomorrow though. 🙁