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Vocabulary: data protection 词语重点:数据保护

Forget your head? 忘带脑袋?

Would you use your laptop on the bus?

The first ever portable computer was very big and very heavy. Released in 1981, it weighed nearly 11 kilos and folded up, it looked a bit like you were carrying a sewing machine. But at least there wasn't much chance you'd leave it on the bus - unlike today's small, light technology.

These days more people than ever are carrying important information on smartphones, tablets and laptops wherever they go. And then putting them down and forgetting them...


In the UK alone, nearly 9 million absent-minded people have lost their mobile at least once in the last five years. Three in ten people said they keep confidential information like PIN numbers and passwords on their phones.

And we're not just misplacing our own data. Public and private organisations seem to be just as flaky. US space agency NASA has forbidden employees from taking laptops out of the office, if they have sensitive information on them, after several data losses. NASA recently lost laptops containing information used to control the International Space Station.

In the UK, Greater Manchester Police was fined £120,000 (around 200,000 US dollars) when an unencrypted memory stick was stolen from an officer's home. The memory stick had details of 1,075 people with links to serious crime investigations.

According to UK law, organisations should use encrypted memory sticks and laptops. If they're lost or stolen, thieves can't read the data without the password. But that only works if you don't also leave behind your password. One health worker in Lancashire lost a memory stick containing the medical details of more than 6,000 people. The data was encrypted, but the password had been written on a note which was attached to the memory stick when it was misplaced.

If we just can't stop leaving our portable technology behind, perhaps we should make it less portable. As the English saying goes 'I'd forget my head if it wasn't screwed on.'

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