Secure your personal data in 5 min

Welcome to an ultra fast and simple how-to.

 

ABOUT

You are now going to learn how to secure important data in less than 5 minutes. There are other ways to secure data, but the following method is meant to be fast, easy, reliable and free. TrueCrypt is an Open Source encryption program that simple, fast, secure (as in military-grade), used by millions of people (don’t believe it? -> TrueCrypt Stats) and is free!

 

GOAL

-Protect sensitive and/or private data. For real.

-Do so with a reliable, flexible and free solution.

 

NOTES

-This tutorial is aimed at a Windows environment. Instructions for other OS may differ.

-Few details and explanation are given. Get going and secure your stuff today.

-I do not provide ANY kind of help. Read & enjoy!

 

STEPS (read first, then go for it!)

1. Download TrueCrypt. (http://www.truecrypt.org/downloads) ONLY download form TrueCrypt.org.

2. Install TrueCrypt in portable mode, which is simple to do: select “extract” instead of install. This means you could choose to extract the files on a USB key and get yourself a portable military-grade encryption software anywhere you go.

3. Start TrueCrypt. (TrueCrypt.exe) You may create a shortcut if you want.

4. Press “Create volume” -> Next (Create an encrypted file container) -> Next (Standard TruCrypt volume). Click “Select file” (I know, it’s weird, because we are creating a new file… anyway). Pick a name, save and click Next -> Next (Encryptions Options).

5. Volume Size – Now choose how big you want your container/volume to be. Pick a small size, but not too small. 50Mb is what I recommend (which is enough for personal information). Why small? To make this encrypted container portable and easy to upload/download/backup, etc. If you want or need bigger, go for it.

6. After you’ve define the size, create a password. You cannot recover a lost password with TrueCrypt. Consider yourself warned.

7. Volume Format – Choose NTFS (unless you have specific needs). Leave the rest as is (cluster: default, dynamic: unchecked) Move your mouse around to generate a random encryption algorithm.

8. Click “Format” to create your encrypted volume with the parameters you just configured. Exit.

9. To use the volume, select any drive letter you want to use. Then, “Select file“, choose your volume (yes you can have many volumes) and click “mount“. Tadam!

10. You can now create, move files/folders in your mounted volume just like any files in Windows. Exit TrueCrypt and you will notice it minimized into an icon in the tray bar. TrueCrypt won’t shutdown if you have a volume mounted.

11. Unmount the volume and you have a secure vault impossible to crack without the password. Keep copies & backups of it anywhere you want, no one can access the content anyway. Now you can close TrueCrypt.

 

There. No more excuses for lost or stolen data.

 

You could store your volume(s)/files for free on Dropbox (2Gb), SkyDrive (25Gb/5Gb Synced), Google Docs (undefined limit), etc. Or keep copies on external hard drives, USB keys, cell phone, etc. Go crazy.

 

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial as much I did making it! Feel free to comment and report any mistakes.

 

Sirus
sirusdark.ca

References
-http://www.truecrypt.org/
-http://www.truecrypt.org/statistics

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