Sometimes it’s not enough to have anti-virus and anti-spyware. If you have personal information stored on your computer, only the dumbest thieves would miss it. That personal information, in fact, may be the reason they’re stealing the computer.  

We tried out a new program called “IdentityFinder” that scours your computer for anything personal and then encrypts it with a click or two. It automatically looks for data saved by Internet Explorer, Firefox, Outlook Express, Outlook and Windows Mail, along with all of your Microsoft Office documents and PDFs. Among the things considered personal are social security numbers, phone numbers, bank codes, anything financial or medical, passwords, etc.  

It found over 350 sensitive items on Joy’s computer, including credit card numbers and passwords. It looks for those automatically, and you can add others, like your mother’s maiden name or anything else you consider private. You can save all your passwords in a “password vault,” that is itself encrypted by a master password not saved on your computer. Hang on to that password.

The program is $25 for home users, $35 for small businesses. More info at

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