Is your laptop still unencrypted? Perhaps 7 seconds of CCTV might change your mind…

Lots of people don’t worry much about encryption.

After all, security companies only promote encryption as a way of life because they’ve got encryption products to sell, right?


Or perhaps they have encryption products to sell because they think encryption is a useful security tool for your digital lifestyle?

Regular Naked Security readers will remember that we found that out for ourselves back in 2011, when we went to a transit company’s annual lost property auction to buy up mislaid USB keys.

We were alert when we found that two thirds of the keys were infected with malware, and alarmed when we checked all the other files left behind: not one file on one USB key had been encrypted.

And, judging by the sort of stuff that was in those files, most of those keys contained information their owners would not have wanted to enter public life.

Of course, it’s easier to lose a USB key than a laptop, which for many users is a prized (or at least a valued) possession, even before the data is taken into account.

Or is it?

Here’s a video that made me vow to keep my beloved MacBook out of sight in public unless my hands are actually resting on the keyboard ready to grab it back from any prospective passing grab-and-run thieving rotter…

(Clicking on the image will take you to MSN’s website to view the video.)

Full disk encryption gives you an extra layer of defence against the potential cost of this sort of opportunistic theft.

The crook can still sell your laptop to a fence for its value as a stolen laptop, but he (or his fence) will struggle to get any data off that might bring additional revenue on the Underweb.