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Protect Your Most Valuable Assets

December 4th, 2011 | by MiW | No Comments

Author: Michael Wahlster

While it is easy to grasp that shiny new computers or feature-loaded laptops have a tangible value and should be protected against damage and loss, it is actually the intangible data residing on those computers that are much more valuable and, in many cases, irreplaceable if the proper protective measures are lacking.

It’s always shocking to learn
how many translators give no thought to
and spend no effort on
securing their data,
even though these data are
the lifeblood of their business.

For better or for worse, most data that drive a freelance translator’s business exist in electronic form. This goes way beyond source and target documents. We all keep reference material and glossaries on our hard drives and accumulate translation memory entries. The e-mail correspondence with our clients resides on the same drives, as do our bookkeeping files where we keep track of invoices and payments. And that is probably not everything. What about software we downloaded, our fonts, or credentials for access to websites and accounts? What about browser bookmarks and other important reference material we found on the Internet?

In discussions with colleagues, it is always shocking to learn how many translators put no thought or effort into developing strategies to secure their data, even though these data are the lifeblood of their business. Where does that leave you in case something happens to your computer after a fire, flood, or theft? Hardware is easy to replace – just walk into the nearest Best Buy and you are all set. However, with your accounting, your e-mail archives, and translation memories gone, not to mention any projects you may have been working on, you will have a much harder time to recover.

Read on »

From the Admin Desk: Don't try this at home

July 25th, 2010 | by mm | No Comments

Probably you have. Leave all your electronic valuables to the risks of theft, damage, and other worldly disasters. Help can only be given to those who read the following article from our esteemed Webmaster Michael Wahlster. Michael had to add a minor correction to the well written piece which we will publish here.

“As of version 0.8 from June 2010, Google Mail support has been removed from FireGPG and the add-on will not be developed further. A possible substitute is the Gmail S/MIME add-on by Sean Leonard and Richard Jones.”

Now the article can be found at: Protect Your Most Valuable Assets: Data Security and Confidentiality. And did I mention it was the Feature Article of the ATA Chronicle in its June issue? Congratulations Michael!

Keeping Your Data Safe

February 28th, 2008 | by LTD | No Comments

Cafépress Fashion for Paranoia

As the old adage goes: “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.” When you are on the road with your laptop, chances are that the data on your hard drive is a good deal more valuable that the computer. And that does not even take into account all the dozens of NDAs and confidentiality agreements you signed. (Does “reasonable attorney fees” ring a bell?) On top of theft and leaving your laptop behind somewhere, you also have to worry about official snooping every time you enter the country.

Technology to the rescue. For paranoics like me, TrueCrypt is the ideal tool: industrial-strength encryption, partition or drive encryption, and (the cherry on top of the whipped cream) two levels of plausible deniability in case you are forced to reveal the password. Documented freeware, available for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.

Don’t forget your password, though!