Just got back to Brazil, and now I have to configure my desktop again... Had to try out a few of the softwares available... And I decided to write a little about my selection, so that others can save a few hours on that... ;)
Personal Privacy - Disk Encryption
I am a little bit sensitive about leaving stuff on the computer, mainly the things I wouldn't like others to see, like passwords for sites that I usually go to. Of course, I could always use Firefox to save them, it is terribly more pratical. I do that, but never for sites that I use to make online buys! So, personally, I prefer to keep important information inside a encrypted disk. For that I have been using TrueCrypt, an open-source project that has versions for Windows, Linux and Mac!
Personal Privacy - Messages Signing and Encrypting
Something else that always bothers me a little, is the way that an e-mail can so easily be forged... All you need to do is write a small program and you can do it! Or, even more, you can do that easily using telnet and accessing a smtp server, that usually does not validate the information being sent... So, an easy way to avoid that is with digital messages signing (and encrypting, if you are sending important of private information that you don't want others to see). One way to do that is using the open source project from GNU, GNU Privacy Guard (gnuPG for short). It is available in different languages and operating systems! Including Windows! I particulary was using PGP (or Pretty Good Privacy) for a while and even though it is not open source, it has a freeware version that allows you to encrypt and sign messages (though a lot of other features are disabled). It has a nice interface and works well with Vista, so, right now, while GNU PG is not nicely integrated in Vista, it is my program of choice... ;)
One detail about PGP is that there is no more a freeware version. Only the trial version that has all the features and then changes to a freeware version after the trial period. If you want to, you can just sign up for it, download and just not enter a serial number, so that it will be directly changed to the freeware version.