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Those who do not learn the lessons of history are bound to repeat them. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has apparently learned some of the lessons from recent high profile laptop thefts involving government agencies such as the Veterans Administration and private business such as Stevens Hospital in Washington.

Over the weekend, burglars broke into Candidate Romney’s campaign headquarters and stole several laptop computers and other electronic equipment. According to a Romney campaign spokesman, the laptop computers were password protected and encrypted and

“The only thing they’re good for is parts,” campaign spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom told the Associated Press.

Password protection and disk drive encryption provide essential security tools to protect against data and identity theft. The Romney campaign apparently did things correctly. The only possible problem would have been if campaign staff members placed passwords on or nearby the stolen laptop computers. According to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, since 2005, over 165,000,000 personal confidential records have been compromised exposing personal information to risks of identity theft. In today’s world, laptop password protection and data encryption are no longer an option. Keep that in mind the next time you decide to go to work for a presidential candidate.

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