Many people who come from the Windows world are unused to the password nature of Linux and try to recreate their Windows environment out of habit. I try to show them that much of what I don't like about Windows, and perhaps even some of the Windows drawbacks that also drove them to looking at Linux in the first place, are non-issues in Linux precisely because of its enforcement of passwords. In fact, I feel so strongly about this that I have resolved to refrain from providing procedures for bypassing Linux security. The last thing the Linux community needs is to have Linux evolve into something as insecure as Windows.
This is not meant as a slight to the OP. I fully understand that your motives are entirely honourable. However, I must point out that your laptop can be stolen or lost. Your home can be broken into and your laptop taken. If it ever is, then all of your e-mail (including those medical records from your doctor, those statements from your bank, those nasty things you wrote about your boss) are completely available for anyone to read merely at the press of a power button.
This isn't all. One of the best advantages that Linux has over Windows is the lack of any need for antivirus. We don't need to load up antivirus programs that spend the first 10 minutes of every bootup downloading antivirus signatures and new engines, then slowing the whole system down to a crawl by incessantly scanning our hard disks and intercepting e-mails. However, a primary reason for this advantage is due to Linux's enforcement of passwords. But you can't have it both ways. If you don't want to deal with viruses and antivirus measures, then you have to accept the need for passwords.
My advice to new users is in fact the opposite: more security, not less. You should consider encrypting your /home directory when you install so that all of your e-mail is nothing but a meaningless garble to anyone but you. You should turn on the firewall that Ubuntu has turned off by default. And you should not only use a password, but a strong one so that it's too much time and trouble for some cracker to try breaking it. Linux actually makes these things as unobtrusive and as painless as possible. We get a lot of security for very little effort. Why hobble it?
My $.02 anyway.