There was a time when people would keep their important documents in a safe bolted to their closet floor. As computers are increasingly used to keep copies of sensitive information, identity theft has shot up like a rocket. Hackers are remorseless thugs who will shake down your hard drive, usually from a remote location, potentially doing irreparable harm (financial or otherwise) to you or your family.
Straight Out Of Q’s Workshop
The old espionage films generated in Hollywood always had the Top Secret stuff on a roll of microfilm. The 21st Century equivalent to microfilm, of course, would be the USB flash drive. With the latest flash drives capable of holding double-digit gigabytes of data, all manner and volume of information could be stored on one. Just like in the movies, we could be talking about issues of national security – building plans, for instance, or schematics for industrial projects, or military secrets.
Fingerprints and Snowflakes
Nowadays, one can acquire USB flash dives that come with a biometric identifier. They only allow files to be accessed and opened by the person with the right fingerprint. Naturally, the movie moguls are thinking of entertaining ways in which one’s finger(s) might be removed, but never mind all that. Fingerprints are like snowflakes. There can be no better personal security gate than a biometric identifier, and everyone from Big Business to Uncle Sam knows it.
Digital “microfilm canisters” are the latest evolution in the shadowy world of corporate headquarters and international intrigue, just as are miniature cameras and microscopic listening devices. It’s not just the stuff of silver screen excitement. Thanks to USB connectivity, the computer-interfaced gadgets used by secret agents are things that we can get our hands on, and for a lot less money than you might think.