I’m taking steps towards protecting my data, as a precaution against burglary. This will include a regular backup, and both backup and original being secured with data encryption and/or passworded systems.

There seems to be a neat open source software solution, TrueCrypt, for the encryption phase. It has variants for Windows, Mac OSX and Linux. It allocates a block on your internal or external hard-drive as a file. This is then accessible as a normal ‘mounted’ drive when unlocked with the software using your password. It works silently in the background and permits extra layers of security, such as hidden subsections of the drive, or using a file as a key.

It’s supported by comprehensive documentation and a wizard to guide you through a basic encrypted drive setup. So far, it looks very promising – the only limitation I’ve found is that your encrypted area can’t be resized- you must create a new one and copy your data across; ideally, you do a fresh full-size install on a blank drive so you don’t have to juggle your data!

Take a look at TrueCrypt.