It's 2018. Let's encrypt everything.
You should definitely encrypt your laptops. It's extremely easy to steal data from unencrypted machines. Criminals or nosey people can just pop out your drive from the computer, insert it into a caddy and freely browse the files.
Since most laptops have CPUs that support on-the-fly encryption, there's no real reason not to encrypt your laptop. The performance hit you'll ever take is so minimal you probably won't even notice it.
If you have a Mac, great! Turn on FileVault at System Preferences and... 2 days left. 3854 days left. 1 hour left. Hey, just let it finish! FileVault 2 encrypts your entire drive, and stores the recovery key in iCloud. (It also allows for you to remember the recovery key, in case you don't want FBI or the NSA asking Apple for your key.)
Unfortunately, this is where things get rather complicated. Windows machines typically cannot encrypt their machines without using third-party software. Unless, of course, you shelled out the extra bucks for Windows 10 Professional, in which case you'll have Device Encryption on supported devices. But, there's a huge caveat - it automatically sends the key to Microsoft and does not allow you to remember the key and store it manually. Also, you're not really going to shell out big bucks for Windows 10 Professional, right?!
Just kidding. If your device doesn't support Device Encryption, the next would be BitLocker. This is available on Professional, Enterprise and Education. You could use the onboard TPM (if your device has one) or an USB drive.
If you're extremely skeptical, I believe VeraCrypt can solve your problems. It supports EFI encryption and is available here. Many thanks to HowToGeek for providing original information on Windows. Now onto more encryption!
If you have a Linux laptop, chances are it'll let you enable encryption during installation. If you are using a distro without a GUI install, then you probably know what you are doing and should probably manually enable encryption yourself.
If you have an iOS device, good news. Automatic full disk encryption.
If you have an Android device from recent times, good news. It should probably come with full-disk encryption. (Marshmallow and Nougat.) To verify, go into Settings and make sure Full-disk encryption is on. (Some manufacturers don't do this by default.)
If you have an old Android device, simply enable encryption in Settings. The end.
For added security, enable 10-wrong-passcodes-equates-bye-bye-data in Settings.
Subscribe to ideaman924's blog
Get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox