Experiencing the traumatizing effects of having your laptop crash is painful enough, but losing it or having it stolen can be just as devastating. Pictures, documents, personal information data and other important files need to be kept safe, so that the only thing being stolen is the laptop, not your identity.

  • First things first, back-up your data! Store files on external drives, memory sticks, in email accounts or check out data deposit box online, an instant online backup whenever your files change. Everything is saved, and you never have to worry about losing your files again.
  • For Mac OS X users, try using Apple's
    File Vault, a program which allows you to encrypt your home directory and all the associated settings. 'File Vault' is intended to catch many working, temporary, virtual memory and other files that tend to seep into unencrypted portions of the system. Once encrypted with a secret code, a file is unintelligible to unauthorized parties.
  • For PC suggestions,

  • If you want to encrypt data from a PC, there are many commercial and free offering programs such as PGP Disk and TrueCrypt. These are both for Windows and Linux, and have simple built-in operating system-specific options, providing a way to mount the encrypted volume as if it were simply another hard drive.