I do not recommend you use any "simple" encryption programs. That includes Windows XP, USB stick/dongle solutions, commercial programs, etc. If you really need something that works, and you REALLY know what you are doing and WHY you are doing it, then TrueCrypt is the best solution.
Several pointers follow.
1) Do not blame anyone if you did not make a backup of the volume header and lose your data. http://forums.truecrypt.org/viewtopic.php?t=5987, http://forums.truecrypt.org/viewtopic.php?t=7844, http://forums.truecrypt.org/viewtopic.php?t=7930
2) Encrypting the data means that it is more likely for you to lose that data than it is for someone to get it from you. (Forgot password, corruption of the non-backed up volume header, deleted encrypted file, hard drive stolen, hard drive corruption, etc, etc)
3) Do not blame anyone if you did not make a full backup of the encrypted contents to another encrypted container that you keep in a reasonably safe place (fe a safe), that is, separate from your original data's location (in case something like fire or theft happens).
4) It will be much harder to recover your data if corruption happens to the encrypted file compared to that data being left unencrypted.
5) It is still possible for someone to get access to your passwords relatively simple: access it when you walk away, keyloggers, screen capture programs, etc.
6) Due to #5, physical security of your data is as important as encryption.
7) Backup is more important than encryption and physical security put together.
As long as you act smart and follow the pointers above, TrueCrypt is an awesome tool. With software as powerful as this one, it is probably good to keep noobs and those who don't really need it away. However, even people who know what they are doing can make mistakes or "stuff" can happen. The following links should help you if you are in trouble:
1) Deleted file within the mounted partition.
2) Forgot password
Did you make a volume header backup?
3) Encrypted file/container disappeared from my hard drive, hard drive corruption, logical hard drive problem, accidentally deleted, file, etc
Large informative thread that I initiated on the TrueCrypt forums on container recovery without embedded backup header: http://forums.truecrypt.org/viewtopic.php?p=65366
4) How to prevent encrypted container from being deleted
BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP!
Bug: detect when running low on space, and warn as well as provide a pause function. possibly provide a resume function for very long tasks. currently, truecrypt crashes itself and the operating system, and tries to resume operation from beginning without even erasing the partially completed file.
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Page last modified 05-Feb-17 20:49:16 EST