Over the past 5 years I have posted many videos on YouTube of me sitting in my office yabbering away about some topic or other, behind me two large computer screens on which I work. Very public, very accessible.
The night before last 2 very professional burglars broke into my office and stole those two computers, an iPad, a camera and some other small items. There were not passing crims who had a look around to see what they could get, this was a targeted attack, they knew what was in the office, due to window blinds it’s impossible to see in. They only took what they wanted to get, didn’t do much damage, then walked across my garden to their car that was parked outside.
My 15 year old daughter and I were sleeping in the house. My office is part of the same building but with its own entrance, thankfully the thieves didn’t come into the house.
To say and event like this immediately sends your life into a spiral of fear, chaos and unbelievable hassle is a massive understatement
Although they left rather more clues than they may have planned and the police have been very professional and supportive, as you may expect, the prospect of them being caught is minimal.
The computers were old, packed full of personal information, years of episodes of carpool and fully charged and all the back up material associated with those efforts.
The machines are password protected, as in you can’t boot them up without a password unless you are fairly sophisticated, but I have had to spend the last 24 hours changing passwords on everything I use.
You have to remember two things. One I have a rubbish memory and two, we are talking 15 plus years of computer and online legacy. Laziness, lack of fear and generally sloppy behaviour means I have used very weak and easy to remember passwords.
This all now has to change.
Here’s another thing, I am currently installing 1password on all my machines, as in, I hadn’t finished the process. Engage deep regret mode. I am now going to install a mass of CCTV cameras all over the house, inside and out, constantly monitoring everything and sending the resulting images to a remote location
But, here’s the plus and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Thanks to my hero Leo Laporte, I use Carbonite. Everything on my main computer, everything is backed up remotely. 39.5 gigabytes. Every family picture, video of the kids, every manuscript, screenplay, stage script, diary, discussion paper, pitch document, over 50,0000 documents in all, securely backed up and accessible.
So I did one thing right. I used Carbonite.
One last thing, due to this crime I missed giving a talk for Siemens PLM at the NEC in Birmingham yesterday morning. They managed to re-arrange things so I could appear there late afternoon and it was wonderful to see what they are doing, meet loads of brilliant engineers, forget about passwords and shitty little criminals and have a bit of a laugh, so I’d like to thank the great folks behind the event for asking me along.