Horselover Frost wrote:What you're all forgetting is, if somebody steals your laptop, whether or not it's logged in, they have complete access to everything on it unless you use full disk encryption. Even in the case of some partial disk encryption schemes (like earlier versions of Apple's FileVault), you're only delaying them however long it takes to crack your password hash (from minutes with a good rainbow table and some luck, to maybe a month, tops, on a home PC doing a brute force attack).
That's assuming a certain amount of technical competence on the part of your laptop thief, which most people who end up in the possession of stolen laptops probably don't have (unless you lot on the forums are planning something...). Also, assuming you're not entirely computerless, you can start changing your passwords and taking other steps to protect your valuables within minutes of noticing it's gone, limiting how much damage somebody could theoretically do by cracking your hard drive.
Besides, if somebody really wanted your data, there's no need to be subtle.