Security Suite 6 $69.95 (CD); $59.95 (download) Steganos www.steganos.com 4 CPUs
You don't have to be paranoid to appreciate using a secure and private computer. Security Suite 6 is a beefy, easy-to-use encryption tool for users who need digital privacy, combining powerful encryption, file security, and password-management features into a suite that uses Advanced Encryption Standard and Blowfish algorithms.
A Steganos Safe feature creates a password-protected virtual hard drive you access like a regular drive. Any data you store is encrypted immediately but turns to gibberish once you close the safe. In addition, a file-manager feature lets you hide and encrypt individual files or folders without creating a secure drive. And as you choose passwords for Security Suite, the app provides insight into the password's quality, from "no significant protection" to "this password cannot be cracked by the secret services."
An email encryption tool can help keep your Internet correspondence private. It couldn't be easier to use and is probably good enough for most users, although suspicious users might prefer software that uses public-key encryption. With Security Suite, anyone with the password can read an encrypted message, not just the intended recipient. There's also no way to digitally sign a message to prove it came from you. In addition, encrypted messages are sent as executable attachments, which smart Internet users shy away from.
The app's Shredder utility completely removes files without the salvageable remnants that the Windows Recycle Bin leaves. You can choose from several overwriting methods that Steganos says adhere to Department of Defense and National Security Agency standards. A new Free Space Shredder also destroys data on all of the drive's empty space, nuking what's left of anything you may have simply trashed.
If you're worried others want to know what you've been doing, the app's Trace Destructor tool deletes the telltale data of which Web sites you've visited, files you've opened, and what you've downloaded in Internet Explorer, Kazaa, Office, and other popular apps.
As far as file security is concerned, Security Suite 6 is top-notch. The email encryption utility needs work, however.
Reprinted with permission from Computer Power User magazine.