I'm going away for a one-week residential course soon. I'm taking my laptop, and I will have to leave it unattended in my room sometimes. I have bought a Kensington lock, but what I am really worried about is that if someone steals my computer, they can read many of my private files and emails.
At present my three user accounts (all administrator level) don't have passwords. I can put 20-character passwords on them when I go away, no problem. However, from reading previous questions in this area, I gather it is pretty simple to bypass the password protection. Maybe the average computer thief would prefer to do this rather than format my disk and reinstall Windows.
Can you advise me on the best reasonable option for safeguarding my data? I'm not paranoid, so it doesn't have to be the best security there is. Just something that will protect me against the average computer thief so that if the laptop is stolen I just have to worry about the money and inconvenience.
I have Windows XP Home and NTFS.