Niebezpiecznik.pl, a popular and acclaimed infosec blog in my country, recommends full disk encryption (emphasis original) to all people (ie. "Average Joes"). They warn that in the opposite scenario device theft is likely to have catastrophic consequences.
I'm interested, however, why full disk encryption and not home folder encryption. (By home folder I also mean its Windows equivalent, that is,
All personal data thieves might find interesting for frauds, blackmails, etc, is likely to reside in the home folder. Access to other folders can only give thieves the oh-so-important list of installed programs; so thieves will learn that the person was using Firefox or Google Chrome; Libre Office or Ms Office; maybe they will also learn the person was indulging themselves in certain video games. Other programs that are likely to be installed (Photoshop in case of graphic designers, programing IDEs in case of programmers, etc) will give them equally useless pieces of information.
Even in Windows, since Vista or 7 (I don't recall), badly written programs which would store user data in Program Files, have their write access silently redirected to Virtual Store (which resides in
C:\Users\username\). Therefore I fail to see how could any personal information get leaked outside of the home folder.
The page I linked to doesn't provide rationale for full disk encryption as opposed to the home folder encryption. Therefore, may I ask if this is the general recommendation and why (not)? What threats can be mitigated by full disk encryption that home folder encryption would fail to mitigate? (Evil Maid is one of such threats, but I'm not sure if that's anything an Average Joe would have to worry about.)