Microsoft quietly added the free encryption utility earlier this month, and then just as quietly deleted it. The utility allowed users to encrypt and store files inside a private folder.
When I first saw this product I thought it was a TrueCrypt me-too product without the documentation. The nice thing is that it got the blessing of Microsoft. Besides the blessing from Microsoft I could not think of a reason for me to switch from TrueCrypt to ‘My Private Folder’. In a way I am sorry to see it go. There is a serious security/identity theft issue with laptops that encrypted virtual disks/folders can reduce. Ophcrack shows how easy it is to crack operating system passwords so a pragmatic person has to assume that the operating system passwords will be compromised fairly quickly. Encrypting sensitive data without using the operating system passwords becomes a step improvement in security. Using TrueCrypt is not the perfect answer but it is better than no security.