How To Password Protect Your USB Flash Drive
As I am away travelling this week in the USA I thought I would share with you one technique I put in place before I left for the Airport. Whilst it was not the intention to be tied to my laptop computer every day I was away, I knew I wanted to have my "business" with me, So I backed up all my data to a USB flash drive before I left.
Carrying around your data on a USB flash drive is more secure than leaving traces on other peoples PCs, but it can also pose problems of its own. What happens if you lose your flash drive, which will be easy to do, as it's so small. (Or have it stolen) Anyone who plugs it into their computer could get instant access to al the documents and data it contains. It's a risk.... However you can avoid this risk if you perform a few simple tasks.
Here's what you have to do to Password Protect your USB Flash Drive:
Start with an empty Flash Drive. Download and install TrueCrypt from www.truecrypt.org Click 'create volume' to create a standard TrueCrypt volume. Click 'select device' - choose your USB flash drive, click it, then choose OK.
Click 'next' to see the encryption options (algorithms) you can use, click 'next' to accept the volume size, then enter a password. (Make sure its something easy for you to remember, yet
virtually impossible for others to guess! see what not to use as your password here)
Move your mouse over the 'next dialogue' to set a random starting point for the TrueCrypt encryption, then click 'format' to format the flash drive. (If you have any preexisting data on the flash drive copy it to your hard-drive right now).
To access the Flash Drive click 'select device' in TrueCrypt and chose the flash drive. Select 'mount' enter your password and the Flash Drive will now appear in explorer Click 'dismount' to remove the drive.
You have now password protected (and encrypted) your USB Flash Drive to stop others from accessing your sensitive data. Well done!