Most people have introduced encryption as a way to secure communications on your WLAN. You can also use encryption to secure at-rest data or data that is located on a hard drive or similar storage medium (CD, DVD, and tape). There are several software solutions available to encrypt your data, whether you choose to encrypt the entire contents of your hard drive or just specific folders.
Note: An easy-to-use’ effective utility for encrypting your files and folders is File Warden, available for download from the utilities section of the PC Magazine Web site: www.pcmag.com
One thing to consider before using encryption is that it takes a lot of CPU horsepower. If you encrypt your entire hard drive you may notice significant slowing when you use your computer. You might consider only encrypting the contents of a couple of folders and storing all sensitive files in those.
Smaller devices like PDAs and smart phones lack the horsepower to use significant encryption. There is effective security software for locking a PDA after it’s turned off or after it spends a certain amount of time idle. This software locks all unauthorized persons out of the device and prevents wireless connections, synchronizing, or beaming of information.
Whichever device you use, install either encryption or security software to lock down your data if your computer ever falls into the wrong hands. Always set up your device so that it asks for a password and use a security screen saver with a strong password to make it harder for criminals to get to your data.