I always thought that everything on computer hard-disk is encrypted which can only be read(and understood) after passing my username and password to decrypt it. However, this is clearly not the case. Computers use access control to restrict access, but there must be encryption to prevent people from hacking into root privilege.
I read about data security on an unencrypted hard drive and got conflicting information.
Aikore Edmund states that:
When HDD is tranfered from computer to computer accessing Administrators (Users) Directory is very difficult, if the information must be accessed the new computer (i.e accessing HDD) has to claim ownership as a security measure for accessing data.
Leo states that:
They can remove the hard disk from your machine, connect it to another, and once again access the contents of your hard disk without needing to log in to your copy of Windows at all.
Aikore seems to say that although data is not encrypted, the user still has to satisfy security measure for accessing data. On the other hand, Leo seems to say that there is no security measure at all. It seems that Aikore is talking about Access control which can be overridden when exposed to physical threats described by Leo
Thanks to @DBLuois I found @Polynomial response to a similar question
Access controls can be anything from a padlock on a gate to a permission set on a filesystem.
I fail to understand Polynomial's metaphor. If Acces control is like the lock to data then what are the walls made of? Is it something physical such as the hard drive, and the lock is the encrypted program to operate harddrive pointer or is it something else?
Let me rephrase my questions more clearly:
how does an Operational System protect my information if they are not encrypted?
How does Operational Systems enforce such securities?
This might sound like a basic and uneducated question but I feel like not many people know how safe their data really are when they should be. Thanks.