Microsoft windows is the most widely used operating system in the world today. It is popular because of its user friendly environment, high compatibility with most extensions, support from Microsoft and much more. But, Microsoft doesn’t stand a chance against Mac or Linux when it comes in terms of security. As we have seen in our earlier article, Microsoft windows can be easily penetrated using a live Linux disk. So, if you are using windows in your office or other public workplace where you store and handle sensitive files, encryption becomes highly necessary to avoid such penetrations. For this purpose I personally recommend Truecrypt because it is free and what more is needed!
What is Truecrypt?
Truecrypt is a Free open-source disk encryption software for Windows 7/Vista/XP, Mac OS X, and Linux.
Key Features :-
- Creates a virtual encrypted disk within a file and mounts it as a real disk.
- Encrypts an entire partition or storage device such as USB flash drive or hard drive.
- Encrypts a partition or drive where Windows is installed (pre-boot authentication).
- Encryption is automatic, real-time (on-the-fly) and transparent.
- Parallelization and pipelining allow data to be read and written as fast as if the drive was not encrypted.
- Encryption can be hardware-accelerated on modern processors.
- Provides plausible deniability, in case an adversary forces you to reveal the password.
Truecrypt is free and open-source - http://www.truecrypt.org/downloads
It offers encryption for your files, drives and other portable devices. In this article, we will learn to create and use a virtual encrypted disk using Truecrypt.
Quick steps :-
- Install and run Truecrypt.exe
2. Click on Create Volume in the main menu and then select “Create an encrypted file container” option.
3. Give Next and select “Standard Truecrypt Volume”. Hidden Truecrypt volume can be opted in a situation where you may be forced to reveal your password for an encrypted volume.
4. Select the location where you want to save your Truecrypt image file a.k.a Truecrypt container and give Next.
5. Use the default settings in the encryption and hash algorithms (Recommended). Give Next.
6. Specify the size of the container you want to create.
7. Use a strong password for the volume you want to create. For best results, use a combination of numbers, special characters, uppercase and lowercase letters. You need this password to access the Truecrypt container every time. So, note down the password in a safe place if it is difficult to remember every time.
8. Choose the default values for Filesystem and Cluster then click Format. Thats it!
9. Now, in order to use the container to store files, you have to mount it using Truecrypt. Go to the Truecrypt main menu and click Select File in the Volume tab.
10. Choose the container file which you have just created. I named my file as protected, you can give it any name as you wish.
11. Click on Mount in the main menu and when it asks for password, use the one you used while creating the container file.
12. Now your encrypted disk is mounted as a real disk where you can store and access your important files. Once you are done, simply choose Dismount in the Truecrypt menu and exit.
13. Whenever you want to access the container, repeat steps from 9 to 11. Yes, now your files are secure and guarded against any type of penetrations. Support the developers of this awesome software if you like it!
If you have any queries, feel free to share it in the comments section below!