There are very few uses I can ever come up with for Zip drives anymore, but you seem to fit the bill almost perfectly.
You can buy yourself an older 100 or 250MB Zip drive second hand for practically nothing, and 2-3 Zip disks and you'll probably be set.
You store all your data on the Zip disks, which can then be added and removed from the system as needed. There's no way for anyone without physical access to the system to get at those files.
Periodically, it might not be a bad idea to make a backup of all files onto CD/DVD if you have a burner. While you could use a CD-RW drive to do this, it would be much slower and more cumbersome than a Zip drive. It would also be much less reliable in the long term. This is one of the few cases where a Zip drive would be a better solution.
Securing file on PC connected to broadband and home network
I am running Windows XP Home SP2 on a PC at 3.0 GHz with 1 GB RAM. I am connected to other PCs at home on a home network with settings for residential network. I have cable broadband (Comcast) and NetGear MR814v2 Wireless Router (but using cables only, not wireless connections).
With all the financial data on PC (within MS Money, PDF files of online payments, etc) and scans of passports, etc, I am concerned about the security of my data. I have been zipping the data and then using PGP to encrypt. I feel reasonably secure (I know it isn?t enough for a determined hacker) with the encryption. While decrypting & unzipping works for data not often accessed, it is not practical for MS Money and files frequently accessed.
I have changed my important files as ?hidden? using Windows Explorer. Does this help in any way shielding data or can intruders change the settings? If I have the option of ?show hidden files? on my PC, does that make them ?visible? to intruders?
I assume there are programs that can open secure files on the fly, but what about when I open my MS Money data file: while I have to change the file before Money can use it? Can someone recommend solutions?