In case you carry sensitive information in a USB drive, you need to encrypt it so that you can keep the data secure from potential loss. There are several methods you can use to encrypt this device which includes;
Method 1: Using Bitlocker on windows
Bitlocker is a feature in the Windows operating system which can effectively encrypt your USB drive and require one to input a password before accessing its contents.
To get started, connect the USB device to your computer, right-click it, and select Turn on Bitlocker.
Then, select the mode of protection you want. You can choose to use a smart card, password, or both. It is highly recommended that you use a password.
The next step is to choose how you want to save the recovery key in case you forget your password. There are various options available, but the best is to save it in your Microsoft account.
Then, choose the amount of space you want to be encrypted. You can choose to encrypt the whole drive or just the space that has data on it.
By following this simple process, the USB drive will be encrypted, and no one will access the information in it without entering a password. Make sure you keep the password to yourself and store the recovery in a safe place.
Method 2: using a third-party software
There are many third-party encryption software that you can use to encrypt and secure your USB drive.
However, you need to know that all programs are not made equal. There are those which are made to provide users with military-grade protection to their data, while there are those that can expose your sensitive data even more.
Therefore, before you choose a third-party software, make sure you carefully do your due diligence. Do thorough research and see what previous customers are saying about a program before you use it.
You can even go a step further and part away with a few bucks as consultation fees and have an IT security professional suggest the best program for you.
Method 3: buy a flash drive that is already encrypted
If you don’t have the time to encrypt a USB drive yourself, you can buy one that has already been encrypted.
However, avoid buying software encrypted USB drives because they use proprietary encryption algorithms that can be hacked with ease.
Instead, purchase one with hardware encryption since it permits faster access to data and stores encryption keys in a secure chip, thus eliminating the need to store these keys externally.
When buying hardware-encrypted USB drives, ensure they are FIPS-compliant, or they have an AES-256 bit encryption for better data protection.