i've been dual-booting win7 and ubuntu for quite some time, but i recently wiped Win7 off my HDD and installed ubuntu 12.04, loving it so far!

i had a few questions about encryption and backups. i'm running 12.04 64-bit and i've encrypted my home folder at installation.

1) when i login, my login password decrypts all my files. from here, i can copy files to flash drives (for use on another computer) and they will be unencrypted, correct?

2) from what i understand, the home folder is actually empty, and /home/.ecryptfs actually holds all my encrypted files. when i login, the OS thinks that everything is in /home, but it's really not. is this correct? is the below link correct?
HTML Code:
http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=12197456&postcount=12
3) if i wanted to backup my /home folder, what would be the best way? i was thinking about using rsync to an external HDD. if i'm logged in while i do this, are my files stored in an unencrypted format?
HTML Code:
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/rsync?highlight=%28\bCategoryBackupRecovery\b%29
4) this is probably a stupid question, but i have my dropbox folder in /home/$user/dropbox. are my files there encrypted? from what i understand, they are encrypted on my HDD (in the event my laptop is lost/stolen) but not on dropbox, because dropbox never sees them in the encrypted format, right?

thanks in advance, i appreciate any help!