Let's face it.
You own a computer and you do tons of things with it, but still, sometimes you forget you have it. Sometimes you grab a piece of paper to write down some links or passwords, even knowing you will probably loose it sometime or even misunderstant your own hand writing! I love paper, for both reading and writing, but such important information have to be kept somewhere else, for backup reasons, as well as for security and availability reasons.
So now you know its a good thing to save your data. But now you face another problem. Once you connect to that great Internet hot spot, all your computer info is automatically available for everyone (and don't tell me you have a good anti-virus or firewall).
My take on this is quite simple: assume people WILL in fact gain access to your computer at some point (even with updated OS, firewalls, no shares and so on). By assuming this, you have accepted, in a nutshell, that you cannot trust in technologies. So even with all your system protected for the most common issues, you have another task: make your information impossible to be read by people who get their hands on it. Or as a teacher of mine used to say, "disable the possibility of someone who get in possession of our information to actually see it in an useful time frame". This means that it someone took 10 years to crack one of your password protected files, it wouldn't really matter because most probably that file would have bacome outdated and deprecated, with no use whatsoever.
My following example - as most of your already figured out - is all about kepping our files save and protected, although they are located on our own beautiful computer.
I should be mocked for having a clear text password file list myself but the important thing is I finally decided to do something about it.
And how hard can it be to protect it? It must be, because I've been using it for a few years now! Or is it?
Finally, we can complete our work, and yes, we will have to enter the password whenever we open our text file. A small price to pay for free information protection.
A free compressor app like 7zip does the trick.
Check out this great article from informationweek.com.