Encrypting files provides a robust way to protect their contents. Files are scrambled in a way that makes them unreadable unless a person can provide a password. An empty drive can be formatted so anything you add to it is encrypted from the outset, and you can apply this technique to a volume that only takes up some of the drive’s capacity. Here's how to encrypt your files and keep prying eyes away.
Apple's going the way of a disc-less life. We're okay with this, but just because there are no discs, doesn't mean your hardware and software won't fail. Things happen, people cry, and it usually results in resintalling OS X. Fortunately, Apple has included a Recovery HD partition on newer MacBook Airs and Mac minis. When you boot into this partition, you get the same features as booting into the Mac OS X Install DVD, but you also get other options to help get your Mac back in working order.