Truecrypt is a great multiplatform encryption tool; however, there have been numerous claims of it not being as secure as people think. There were so many claims that an IndieGoGo project was set up to fund a full (external) security audit of truecrypt (status: http://istruecryptauditedyet.com/). This, along with other concerns I have had with truecrypt caused me to look for an alternative, which lead me back to LUKS.
Bitmessage is a new, secure method of email-like communication. Bitmessage is a decentralized peer-to-peer system that leverages several concepts similar to bitcoin and bittorrent to enable end-to-end encryption for messaging. You can find out more about Bitmessage at their website.
Duplicity is an application which uses other applications/tools to create and synchronize backups. To be clear, Duplicity can perform backups pc-local (on one computer), lan-local (as in your local network), or to any location with which you have network access in a secure (as in Trust No One (TNO) and efficient (in regards to bandwith/space usage) fashion.
I've had several people ask me why I go to the trouble of encrypting my Home directory (or SWAP/network drives, disks, etc.)? My first response is "Its really not difficult to do...so why not?". After thinking about the question a bit more I decide a more well-rounded answer could be construed.
This article explains how to encrypt your entire home directory post-install/user creation. Most linux distros provide an easy to use interface that allows you to encrypt a user`s home directory during setup of the OS or during creation of a new user. I have recently come across a few distros (crunchbang and LMDE) which did not offer the option to encrypt the user`s home directory during install (or if it did I missed the option). In any case, I had an OS with a user whose Home directory was not encrypted and I wanted/needed it encrypted.