Don’t you just love cool USB keys? They come on all shapes and sizes and they keep getting cheaper and cheaper, they even have cute ones like this one. People like to take their data around them, they like to keep them on little USB keys, big USB keys, fancy USB keys, external hard drives or even CDs – remember those?
People think that if they keep super important files on their USB keys rather than on their computer that it is safer. In reality though, these USB keys are not protected by the network security policies that may be in place at your office, simply because they are not on the network.
Therefore, keeping files on USB keys is actually more risky. So what happens if our little USB key with all this company sensitive data on it, is lost or even worse – stolen?
How can you be sure that the data in this USB key will not be viewed by someone else?
Data encryption is the answer. Data encryption is like putting a special digital lock on your USB key or external hard drive that only you can unlock. Without that special code there is no way that someone else can look at the data on the missing device.
Data encryption today is being used to secure emails, network firewalls, and even mobile phones. You can use the same technology to secure your USB key, external hard drive, or your laptop’s entire hard drive.
So how do we do this?
One of the free tools that you can use here to encrypt your USB key is called DiskCryptor. So have the key inserted, double click it here, and highlight the USB key drive, which is D drive in this case. Click on Encrypt, leave the defaults, click on next, type in the password, twice, click ok, and let it work.
So now your device is protected, it is now encrypted. If you go into Computer, click on your USB key, and you see this folder says confidential files, this is where you will keep your files. Once you are done with your files you just want to unmount from here so no one else can have access to this drive. Now you put in the key.
If you try and browse back in Computer to your USB key, you are unable to open it up, it will ask you to format it. So now let’s say you are legit and you want to open this file: Click DiskCryptor, click on the USB key, click on Mount, type in your password, go to My Computer, and there you are.
It’s that simple! Just make sure you don’t forget your encryption key or else you will be locked out too. Now your USB key is not only cute but also secure.