I think most of the world now travels with their personal computing devices. Traveling to and through Mexico, Central America and South America significantly increases your chances of loss or theft. There are things that you can do to protect your information and your identity should this occur.
I think just about everyone’s computer contains enough pertinent information about them to make identity theft a breeze. In my case, I’ll be working remotely over the winter and in addition to personal information my computer contains sensitive company information. But that’s okay, because I’ve encrypted my entire hard drive using AES-256 encryption. It’s as good as a coffee coaster even to the National Security Agency (so far as we know). I don’t think it will be much use to your average petty thief.
As complicated as this may sound, it’s actually quite easy and free to do. I used an open source piece of software called TrueCrypt. Since there is already an excellent tutorial on how to do this I’ll spare myself the effort:
Since encrypting my system partition I have noticed absolutely no performance degradation. That’s it. The data on the computer is safe. No one is going to bust into your AES-256 TrueCrypt encrypted hard drive so long as your password is complex enough to resist a brute force attack.
It’s your computing practices that are likely to ruin you day now. If you haven’t read my previous article:
Now would be the perfect time.