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dbrown
Nov 04, 2011

How do I go about encrypting a thumb drive?

One piece of the security puzzle that I have neglected is my thumb drive. First off, there is a lot of information on my memory stick that I don't want accessed by just anyone. Second, it is small, which is another way of saying, it is easy to loose. There is still a misplaced memory stick somewhere around my office that has been MIA for months. Is there a simple way to go about encrypting the data so that I won't have to worry (much) if I lose another one?

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sspade
11/07/2011

I would be very uncomfortable walking around with all my data on an unencrypted thumb drive.  FreeOTFE is available to download for Windows, and as the name suggests, it is free.  There are other ways to create an encrypted volume on a USB stick, but FreeOTFE is easy and it works.  And free, which is always a positive in my book.  I rarely use Macs, but I believe that there may be a built in utility that you can use to encrypt your data.  Another application that is out there is TrueCrypt, and it works with Windows, Mac OS and Linux, but I've never used it myself. 

jimlynch
11/04/2011
Hi dbrown,

Here's a good article from Wired that covers how to encrypt a thumb drive. It should help get you started in protecting your data.

Encrypt Your Thumb Drive
http://howto.wired.com/wiki/Encrypt_Your_Thumb_Drive

"Memory sticks are a great way to store data and applications for access on any computer you come across. With storage capacities already reaching 256 GB, today's USB sticks are often larger than yesterday's hard drives. Thanks to increased storage space and lowering prices, you can easy store nearly all your personal files on a tiny, go-anywhere USB memory stick.
There's a downside to all that cheap, easy storage, though. It means there's even more data at risk should your USB stick be lost or stolen.

Luckily, it isn't hard to encrypt the data on your USB stick so that, should misfortune snatch it away from you, at least you can rest easy knowing that your data is secure."
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