How Can I Encrypt / Decrypt USB Pen / Flash Drive In Windows 7, Vista Using BitLocker

The new operating system by Microsoft, Windows 7 allows data encryption and subsequent file protection. This includes security for not only the internal hard drives of your computer but also the external drives and the USB flash drives. One of the key security features launched for this purpose is a hard drive encryption scheme known as BitLocker which allows you to not only encrypt individual files but the entire drive as well. This is especially necessary as the large capacity, small USB drives are quite prone to losing sensitive information. Available only for the Windows 7 Ultimate and Enterprise editions, BitLocker encrypts your personal USB flash drives in such a way that you would require a password to view the device on any PC.

Encrypting USB Flash Drives

To encrypt the pen drive using BitLocker in Windows 7, plug in the USB drive to your computer and open explorer. Right click on the USB drive and select the option “Turn on Bitlocker” from the menu. Set the password for your pen rive before you go to the next step. At this point BitLocker gives you an option to save a recovery key or print it. This is an essential step that allows you to retrieve your encrypted password in case you forget it.

If you select on “Save the Recovery Key”, then it is stored as a specific file in a location chosen by you. You can open this as a Notepad later on if requires. The second option prints the encrypted key as pdf or uses a printer for the task. Save these keys in a safe location to avoid your data being stolen. Now click on the Next button to start the encryption process of your flash drive by Windows 7.

Allow this process to get completed post which you will observe the encryption icon on the drive. Next time you plug in your USB drive, the password would be required to unlock your drive.

If you have inevitably forgotten your password then you have to rely on the recovery key that was created during the encryption phase. Use this for unlocking the drive. Once the drive is unlocked permanently, you can now select “Manage BitLocker” and change the password.

How To Encrypt USBs, Flash Drives, Pen Drives or Hard Drives

TrueCrypt is an immense utility tool that helps users to generate encrypted disks within a particular file and then organize it as a real disk. This is one of the most effective tools to generate and maintain on-the-fly encrypted files for an encrypted drive. With TrueCrypt, you can easily get data encrypted as well as decrypted automatically before saving them. You do not require the intervention of any other program to generate an encrypted file. This application also has key provisions for the safety of the files you’ve generated. All the files encrypted by this application cannot be accessed or read without entering the correct password or the exact encryption key.

Until the file is decrypted (read) the volume of TrueCrypt appears to be a set of baseless random numbers. When a user optimizes the features of this application, he is successfully able to encrypt all the specifications of a data, including its file name, folder name and content of the file as well as the free space left. This is application is highly recommended for its ability to encrypt the entire content contain in the removal storage devices like, hard drive , USB flash drive, etc. Within a span of few minutes, it easily encrypts a drive with an installation of Windows.

The key advantage of TrueCrypt is that it conducts the process of encryption automatically with absolute transparency. The deniability features of this application may be compromised in adverse cases when external third software access the files and leak the information through thumbnails, decrypted files and temporary files.

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