I'm pondering how to best advice a friend with a small firm regarding file level encryption. He does use backups and puts them into a secure place, but just in case the firm gets a breakin it might be a good idea to have some local encryption on the work files as well. It wouldn't have to be a perfect defense against someone specifically going after the contents of the harddrive (it's not quite that sensitive material anyway), but well enough to keep the regular hoodlum away from it. Then again, more and more people tend to know someone with "special skills" these days.
WinXP has it built in trough NTFS of course, but how easy is it to "take over" the decryption permission through means of reinstalling the system or something like that? At least it doesn't seem enough to simply get administrator access, as I made a quick test with that. So perhaps it's safe enough, but I don't have much more experience than that so I thought I'd just ask for others more detailed experiences.
If it would be best to use a third party software, what can be recommended? Preferably something that can be tested for a while before purchase. (small firm, always low on spare funds) It will have to work with WinXP of course, and handle entire folders or drives rather than individual files at a time.
I have a feeling I'm not the only one interested in these things so perhaps raising the subject can enlighten others as well.