Posted 18 December 2006 - 04:30 PM
Security is what I'm concerned about myself and what I deal with as a product manager at my day job. So, answering your question: there are plenty ways to stay secure in Windows and protect your files and folders with password. What I would recommend:
1) If you need to protect just one folder or file, then you may use some simple archiving program, such as WinZip or WinRAR the newest versions use good crypto-algorithm, so that it will not be easy to find out your password;
2) If you need to protect a lot of files and folders then consider using crypto-disk, it's just a logical disk that appears in My Computer and it's very easy to deal with. Most know is PGP (as far as I know it's fee for non-commercial purposes), but I do personally prefer TrueCrypt (it's freeware and very nice).
3) Now, what do you miss? There are some other security holes - the first one is key logging and the second one is file recovering.
To prevent key-logging (when someone could find out what password you have typed), you can use some anty-spyware program or some anti-keylogger or better some popular antivirus software that usually includes anti-keylogger function.
To protect yourself against file recovering you should use some file shredder, these programs overwrite data when you delete it, so it's actually deleted in this way. If you are serious about your security then consider using background mode file shredder, this will keep secure deleted even temporary files created by office programs.
4) Finally, about security. It's impossible to break the password if intruder will not find a password protected file itself... I'm not actually recommend steganography software, but consider renaming your files, so that your important document file name should sounds like "doc1" rather than "top secret". Also, you might what to consider cleaning recent files in Windows, so that it would be hard to trace your steps.
Hope, I helped a little.