A lot of web workers carry a ton of data around in their laptops: everything from financial records to passwords to client code. If you’re one of them, have you given any thought to protecting that data if you lose the laptop? Hardware replacement costs can be tough, but losing sensitive data is devastating. If you’re in this situation, you might want to take a look at the just-released version 5.0 of TrueCrypt, which offers open-source on-the-fly data encryption.
With TrueCrypt, you can set aside an area on your drive to act as a virtual encrypted file system, encrypt an entire partition, or even (on Windows) encrypt the boot volume and require pre-boot authentication. In any case, your data can only be accessed by entering your password (or better, passphrase). Best new features of version 5.0: higher-security encryption algorithms and a Mac OS X version.