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How to secure that USB stick

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USB memory sticks are handy devices for transporting information with you. But, if they are not properly encrypted, the contents can be easily accessed. Follow these tips to encrypt a memory stick using TrueCrypt.

How to secure the content of your USB stick

USB memory sticks are great accessories for carrying around files to meetings or different offices. They are often securely stored on a keychain or lanyard, so you’d never think you’d lose one up until you do. Unless your USB memory stick is encrypted, anyone who gets a hold of it can access your information. To solve this problem you can create a protected container on your memory stick known as an encrypted volume. Any files stored within the encrypted volume are protected with a password ensuring that only you can access their contents.

Creating an encrypted volume on your USB stick is relatively straightforward and can save you from worrying about your data once it’s lost. There aren’t really any downsides either. USB memory sticks are a bit slower than your internal hard drive, so creating an encrypted volume won’t noticeably decrease performance.

Encrypted volumes rely on user-provided passwords to protect your data. As with all passwords, make sure to store it in a safe place. You could lose access to your files without it.

The Windows operating system has no internal method for creating encrypted volumes: you will need to download third-party software to do so. The most popular such application is TrueCrypt.

TrueCrypt creates an encrypted volume within a file container that lives on your USB stick. Install the software and follow these steps to encrypt your drive:

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