Wednesday, April 6, 2011

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Encrypting USB Thumb Drive Using BitLocker

BitLocker Drive Encryption is a new feature that provides protection for operating hard drives, external drives, and removable data drives in case they are lost or stolen. BitLocker is a way of encrypting the data on drives and requiring authentication to access the information.

BitLocker encrypts your drives so others cannot access them without a password. BitLocker comes in two flavors in Windows 7 which are BitLocker and BitLock To Go.

You can also force the PC to book from an encryption key on a USB flash drive. You can insert the USB flash drive into the computer during startup to allow it to boot. The USB flash drive is used to unlock the computer.

When enabling BitLocker on a hard drive or removable drives, BitLocker can use the following unlock methods:

Password: You can use a password to unlock your BitLocker encrypted data drives and Group Policy settings can be used to set minimum password lengths.

Smart card: BitLocker allows you to use a compatible certificate on your smart card. By default, BitLocker will choose the certificate unless you have multiple compatible certificates, in which case you must choose the certificate to use.

BitLocker To Go was specially created to encrypt the data on your portable media. With an increasing number of key drives being used, the loss of sensitive data is becoming more of a threat.

Steps Involved In Encrypting Thumb Drive:

To encrypt your thumb drive, do the following:

You should plug your thumb drive into a USB port,

Click the Start button, type BitLocker, and click on BitLocker Drive Encryption.

Encrypting USB Or Flash Thumb Drive 1

Next to your drive letter of your thumb drive, click Turn on BitLocker as shown in figure above.

Encrypting USB Or Flash Thumb Drive 2

Choose a password and click Continue as shown in figure above.

You will be given the option to save your recovery key (used if you forget your password) or print it. If you save the file, ensure the file is stored somewhere safe and then click Next as shown in figure below

Encrypting USB Or Flash Thumb Drive 3

You will then need to confirm your chosen settings, the password and click
Start Encrypting as shown in figure below.

Encrypting USB Or Flash Thumb Drive 4

After you click Start Encrypting you will see the screen in figure below.

Encrypting USB Or Flash Thumb Drive 5

Please notice the figure above where it warns that large drives may take quite a while.

Now that I am done, I am going to try and access the drive I just encrypted.

Encrypting USB Or Flash Thumb Drive 6

As soon as I try a new screen appears asking me to enter a password before I can access the drive as shown in figure above.

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About bench3 -

Haja Peer Mohamed H, Software Engineer by profession, Author, Founder and CEO of "bench3" you can connect with me on Twitter , Facebook and also onGoogle+

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