You can lock our computers, automobiles, and mobile phones, but did you know you can also lock your flash drive? You should encrypt your flash drive if you want to protect its contents. Encryption is a method that limits access to your flash drive to hardware or software that requires a key to decode the data.
Flash drives are intriguing choices for those who want easy file access without internet connectivity. The unfortunate fact about USB flash drives is that they are often lost, stolen, or destroyed, making it imperative to preserve your user data.
There are several accounts of foolish visitors who staked their whole lives on a single journey, only to miss it and divulge all of their private information.
Hardware encryption for USB flash drive
Hardware-encrypted USB drives, which employ a chip that encrypts automatically and discreetly, are readily available for purchase. These drives need a numeric keypad for inputting the PIN. Some flash drives provide automatic overwriting in the event that multiple passcodes are entered. Nonetheless, USB drives with hardware encryption are not resistant to failure. Many brands of flash drives, including Kingston, Trek, SanDisk, and Verbatim, do not meet security requirements.
Software encryption for USB flash drive
The cost of USB drives with software encryption is quite low. Encryption is inexpensive and is sometimes provided with desktop systems. They behave remarkably identically to hardware-encrypted devices, assuming the platform allows the software to operate on your flash drive and you are not careless with your passphrase.
Yes, they do have a disadvantage. They need additional time for encryption and cannot be used on a device without the necessary software. Only technology professionals are capable of performing this encryption.
Software encryption vs. Hardware encryption
Both options give protection without impairing drive functionality. It has become an issue of what you believe is correct. Program encryption is less costly and sometimes performs effectively, but it is prone to difficulties such as human mistakes and software bugs. Hardware encryption is far less susceptible to operator mistakes and is often more precise in quality, but it is more expensive.
There are other techniques for encrypting a flash drive, but they all follow the same basic steps: install software, activate it, and then lock it with a decryption key. We’ve previously provided separate instructions for Windows and Mac operating systems.
How to use BitLocker to encrypt a USB flash drive on Windows 7-10
We will tell you how to use BitLocker on a Windows PC. It is software that has been included with every operating system since Windows 7.
- Empty USB drive
- BitLocker installed on your computer
- Some time
Step-by-step USB encryption method
- Connect to a blank USB flash drive (if there is any data on the drive, remove it or delete it).
- Open File Explorer and search for the USB flash disk.
- Open “Turn on BitLocker” by right-clicking the drive and selecting the option.
- BitLocker will ask, “How do you need to unlock the drive?” As it begins to run.
- You must choose “use a password to unlock the drive.”
- Now enter your password.
- After inputting the password, the backup recovery key question appears.
- You may either print the file from your device or just print it.
- Select “Only Encrypt Disk Space in Use” (You must choose “Encrypt the entire device” if you did not do so in the previous step.
- Select “Compatible mode” to get the highest level of interoperability with other machines.
- Now choose “begin encryption.”
- During the encryption operation, do not remove the flash drive. Encryption takes some time. You will receive a notification once the encryption is complete.
If you disconnect and reconnect the device after the encryption, you will be required to enter the password to access the data.
How to encrypt a USB stick using VeraCrypt
- Go to the VeraCrypt website and download it.
- After downloading the app, install it.
- Connect a blank USB drive to the computer.
- Start Veracrypt. Click the “Create Volume” button.
- Select “Encrypt non-system partition or drive” and click “Next.”
- Select “VeraCrypt standard volume.”
- Click on “Drive selectively.” Now choose your USB drive and press “OK.”
- Click “Next.”
- Select “create an encrypted volume and format” to continue.
- Click “Next.”
- Select any algorithm you desire. If you are uncertain about the encryption algorithm, you may pick AES and click “Next.”
- You must enter your password twice. Following the password, click “Next.”
- Now, in the volume password window, move the cursor randomly. The color of the program bar will change to green. After that, choose “format.”
- A new window will show up. Select “Yes.”
- The encryption will begin automatically, and you will get a notice when it is complete.
How to encrypt a USB flash drive on Mac
- Insert the USB drive and copy all of its contents to the computer.
- Launch Finder and go to Apps. Look up “Disk Utility.”
- Choose the device from the list on the left.
- Go to the “Erase” tab and choose “Mac OS Extended.”
- Afterwards, choose a name.
- Now click the “Erase” tab. All of this information will be removed.
- After completion, choose “Blank disk image” from the “File” menu.
- “Saved location” is the name of your USB drive.
- Always choose a size that is near the capacity of the flash drive and choose “single partition.”
- Select “Image Format” and then press “Read/Write.” Choose the “Create” option.
- Enter a strong and unique password. (There’s also a “password hint” option.)
- Place the data on the DMG disk image file and then copy the files back to the drive.
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