Most of us have external hard drives as a method of backing up our data, or as a convenient way to transfer files from one computer to another, but we rarely think to encrypt or secure the data on those drives in case they go missing or are stolen.
Double click the blue ‘key’ icon on the desktop to open TrueCrypt. You will then see the screen to the left.
- To create a new TrueCrypt volume (encrypted folder), click ‘Create Volume’, and follow the steps. Keep in mind if you want a large folder, it may take a while to encrypt it. (~ 45 minutes for 50GB)
- To view and/or modify the encrypted folder, you must ‘mount’ it.
- Mounting it will effectively will have it show up as a hard drive on your computer that you can treat as any other hard drive.
IMPORTANT: NEVER unplug the external drive when the encrypted folder on it is mounted. ALWAYS click ‘dismount’ or ‘dismount all’, then unplug the external drive.
To mount the encrypted folder, click ‘select file’. This screen will appear. Navigate to the encrypted folder you created and click ‘open’.
Once you have told TrueCrypt where the encrypted folder is, you can mount it by clicking an available drive letter above and clicking ‘mount’.
You will be prompted to enter the password you created when you created the encrypted folder (volume).
You will know it has been successfully mounted when the path of the volume is displayed above.
IMPORTANT: When you are finished with making changes to your files in the encrypted folder (volume), DO NOT just unplug the USB external hard drive. ALWAYS click ‘dismount all’, as shown below.
You will know the encrypted folder (volume) has been successfully dismounted when the volume path above has been cleared. Then, feel free unplug the USB external drive.
TrueCrypt can be a vital tool for someone in business, as hard drives and external drives may contain sensitive or confidential information, which can be completely protected by using a program like TrueCrypt.
The extra steps may feel inconvenient at first, but that’s the trade-off for security that must be made. You’ll be used it after a few times, and you’ll be incredibly grateful for it if and when your computer or laptop is stolen or goes missing, as you can have confidence that NO ONE can access that encrypted hard drive or folder without your password (so make sure it’s a secure password)!