Protecting your personal data

This page explains the personal data that we may have on record about you and your computer. Each level of data storage requires your informed and specific approval. At any time you may contact me to to ask what personal data I am holding in relation to you; to correct it; or to ask for it to be deleted. This will affect the level of support I am able to provide thereafter.

1: Mailing list

We maintain a list of client emails. This will have only your name and email address. We use this list to provide timely warning to clients of problems they may encounter - for example an impending major update of software, or a new security threat.

We may also use your email address to contact you about problems specific to your equipment e.g. during or following a repair.

Your details will not be shared. Each new email will provide an opportunity to remove your details from the list.

Under GDPR legislation we will not be able to record your email address without your permission, and the new service agreement will ask for this permission. Existing clients have been contacted in that respect.

2: Service agreement

When we accept a repair of any kind we will ask you to complete a service agreement on paper.

Page 1 provides all the information I need to carry out the service; for example passwords. Any information that is not needed for the repair need not be completed. I will hold this for the duration of the repair. When the repair is complete and your computer is returned and accepted, this page of the service agreement will be returned or, for past repairs, will have been securely disposed.

Page 2&3 constitute a statement of the basis of our contract. You will print and sign your name, and date both pages. You will hold one and I the other. By signing and dating you show consent to me holding this document.

A blank copy of the service agreement is provided here so you can at any time see the type of data that is held. The service agreement is a legally binding document so I am required to keep my copy.

3: Service record

During the course of a repair I maintain a record of work done. When your computer is returned I provide a printed copy of this record. By referring back to your service records I can offer advice and support specific to your equipment. It also means I can track recurrent or developing faults.

As this record includes some sensitive data it is stored with a high level of security, encrypted (AES256) and protected by a unique password of more than 12 characters. It could take over a thousand years to break this type of password.

A blank copy of the service record is provided here so you can at any time see the type of data that is held. You may at any time ask me to delete all your service records; however I will then not be able to provide further support based on that information.

4: Backups

Often I will need to start a repair by backing up your files. This ensures they are protected and can be restored to your PC in the event of a drive failure or virus attack. Depending on the nature of the repair this may involve copying your user files to my file server, or (worst case) making a complete copy (a "clone") of your entire drive. This backup will normally be deleted securely when you pay your bill which confirms acceptance of the repair. Some clients prefer me to keep a backup if for example their hard drive is showing signs of failing.

You may at any time require the backup to be deleted.

Any backups that have been retained for protection of your user files will be detailed on the service report.

Security of backups

It is not possible for me to store large backups in an encrypted form*. Backups are stored on my file server with password protection only. You will need to choose whether you prefer me to keep a backup of your files so they can be restored if your computer breaks; or whether the backup should be deleted to protect your privacy.

* Why? encryption and decryption of large amounts of data is a slow process. Typically encrypting 10GB of data can take an hour. Your photographs or music could occupy 50GB. Many PC's have 500GB of stored data. Cloning and encrypting such a drive would take several days.