Computers that store important private information must have enhanced means of protection from unauthorized users. Setting up a password to boot a computer in BIOS or an account password in Windows will protect information from walkup users but this will not help if your computer falls into hands of professionals. Frames encryption is more effective method but it is not absolutely reliable as the attackers may steal the encryption password.
To create the systems with a high protection level, you may install a special protection module on your motherboard – TPM (Trusted Platform Module). TPM enables creating and storing the encryption codes, controlling the configuration of equipment, a state of bootable areas and other parameters.
The availability of TPM itself on a motherboard makes no advantages without using special software. One of variants of TPM usage is BitLocker disk encryption which can be found in some versions of Windows Vista/7. In this case all files of operating system, applications, paging file and even free sectors on a disk would be encrypted that guarantees much higher protection level than a simple file encryption.
You can find additional information about BitLocker usage opening a window of the Help system in Windows Vista/7 and searching by keyword “BitLocker”.
There is usually a parameter in motherboards with TPM which switches on or off the support for TPM module in BIOS and may be named “TCG/TPM SUPPORT”, “Trusted Platform Module” or “Security Chip”. After switching TPM on, additional parameters may be available for its setting.