So much is written about firewalls and anti-virus etc, but so little is written about physical theft.
Literally hundreds of thousands of laptops are stolen every year. Forget the risk of a hacker getting your private information, you have a far greater risk with a thief who steals the physical hardware.
With this in mind, here are two very simple tips to help prevent data loss by theft or casual snooping:
Fix it to a piece of solid furniture/wall/pipework and lock to your laptop. All but the hardened theives will be thwarted, with an unprotected laptop being a much simpler target.
Compared to the price of your laptop, this is such a small financial outlay for a lot of protection.
Secondly, password protect you laptop and set a keyboard shortcut, or on a Mac, a hot corner to activate your password protected screensaver whenever you get up to leave your laptop unattended - even if it's for 2 minutes.
It's very easy to do and once you've get used to it, will become second nature.
That way, nobody can easily (unless you have a stupid password, or leave the password written on a sticky note in view) casually look through your data on screen.
If your laptop contains very sensitive or private information, you should seriously consider some level of encryption. That way, if you are the victim of theft, the thief cannot access your data.
Please consider not only the value of your laptop, but the value of the data if it were lost forever.
You will be far better prepared if you expect the unexpected!
There you have it: two very simple and cheap ways of easily protecting your valuable laptop and data.