Removable Drive Encryption with TrueCrypt

This project shows you how to encrypt removable drives (thumb drives, USB connected external hard drives, etc) using the open source TrueCrypt application.

TrueCrypt is fairly well designed and provides good cryptographic security. Its key management system could be better (e.g. PKI based).

This turns any removable drive into an encrypted drive. It won't keep you from losing the drive (or having it stolen), but if your drive does go astray it is quite difficult for anyone to recover the information stored on it. This is good business practice, especially for any sensitive information (source code, product plans, accounting information, customer lists, etc).

It is simple enough that almost anyone can learn to use it. The price is definitely right (free).

You can protect an entire computer with TrueCrypt. This is called Full Disk Encryption. This is a bit more difficult to do, but provides a much higher level of security. You don't really have to even think about what to protect, or making sure that sensitive files are kept on removable drives. If your computer is stolen (all too likely with portable computers), often the data on it is far more valuable than the computer. Using full disk encryption prevents all but the most determined and capable (e.g. the NSA) from getting access to your information. They might can use or sell your computer, but your data is safe.

Removable Drive Encryption with TrueCrypt (pdf)

TrueCrypt User's Guide (pdf)