Since USB drives are so portable, you can take a drive virtually anywhere. Just like most items that are portable and that you carry with you, this type of drive can be lost (I’ve personally lost two – both encrypted), or stolen.
If you should lose a USB drive, through happenstance or theft, you need to be sure that any confidential information on the drive cannot be read, and the way to do that is to encrypt your data.
If you’re unfamiliar with data encryption; simply put, it is a process by which bits of data are mathematically jumbled with a password-key. The process makes the data unreadable unless, or until, decrypted by you.
Here’s a very cool free encryption application, USB Safeguard, which will encrypt your USB data in an easy, follow the bouncing ball manner – you can’t get much easier than “Drag and Drop”. Simply download this free application and run it from your USB drive.
The following screen captures illustrate just how easy encryption can be using USB Safeguard. Clicking on any graphic will open a new window to display the graphic in 640x – format.
Launch the application on your USB drive and construct a password.
You will be queried as to whether you want to save your password on your Home PC.
Drag and Drop the files on the USB Drive you want to encrypt into the applications interface window. The free application restricts encryption to a maximum of 2 GB.
Following successful encryption you will have the option of further protecting your files (in the event of loss), by overwriting or deleting the encrypted files. I particularly like this feature, since it adds another layer of security.
Decrypting the files is every bit as easy. Simply launch the application (remember, the application is on the USB drive), enter you’re password and voila!
Runs with any usb pen drive
No installation required
256-bit AES encryption
Easy drag & drop file adding
Built in file shredder
Secure your data if drive is lost
Supports FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS file system
Without a doubt, this is encryption taken to a new level of simplicity. Ideal for average users, who have little interest in dealing with the finer points of encrypting data.
System requirements: Windows XP/Vista/Seven
Download at: Developer’s Site (USB Safeguard Software)
If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.