I know they look good, but placing your external hard drive vertically (as many are intended these days) is actually a data security risk. Models like the Lacie pictured here, many WD models and countless others may be easier to fit onto your desk than horizontal designs, but you can knock them over. It happened to a friend of mine yesterday, and it looks like he’ll have to pay a lot of money to get his data recovered, or consider it lost.
This also adds a reason to why RAID1 drives (with two disks that store data twice) are safer. Typically, those type of devices have a wider base and are much less inclined to topple over. But anyway, if your drive is the kind that can be placed flat on your desk, I’d recommend doing so.
I’ve recently decided to move my business out of my family’s home, to a nearby office building. While this is very convenient in many ways, it also meant I had to find a way to move data to and from there safely. As a web freelancer, I feel it’s my responsibility to keep client data very secure. Not only do I not want to lose it, I also need it to remain private. That’s why I looked into things like RFID protected and rugged harddrives.
There are two distinct threats I wanted to keep my data safe from. One is from data loss through drive failure. I’m going to be taking it with me every day, so I needed a sturdy drive that could take some (accidental) abuse. The other threat is theft. I wanted the contents of the disc to be protected in case it fell into the wrong hands. It was essential for me that I’d be able to use the device on Windows, Mac and Linux computers, which rules out most products that use software encryption.
More How to keep your data safe on a budget