How To Password Protect a USB Drive in Windows
USB drives are inexpensive portable and easy devices to store, secure and share backup digital files. They are ideal for those who use several computers over the course of the day. One drive contains everything they need to work with and programs , and they are able to take it and use it wherever they wish.
But, the benefits of portability create a valid security issue – anyone could take the USB drive from the machine and walk away with your valuable documents inside their pockets. Therefore, it is possible to ask, “How can you secure a USB drive with password protection?”
The good news is that Windows 10 has made this a breeze. In this article, we’ll demonstrate how to secure the USB drive with Windows and various other ways to protect USB drives.
How Do I Password Protect a USB Drive in Windows 10?
There are three methods to safeguard data stored on the USB drive. All three methods depend on different encryption protocols to protect information. You can choose to either secure your entire device, purchase an encrypted Flash drive or secure individual files.
Let’s look at the steps you need to take to achieve this.
Secure the drive with BitLocker
The easiest way to safeguard the USB device is to use a password to ensure that the entire device is secured. So, everything stored on the drive is secure and, even if you decide to add additional content to the drive later then it will also be secured.
There are third-party encryption software available that cater to particular needs, but for the majority of Windows 10 users, the built-in encryption tool is sufficient. This Windows 10 tool is called BitLocker It is compatible with all kinds of storage devices, and not only USB drives that are removable. USB drives. It’s free and simple to use.
Rohos Mini Drive: Create an Encrypted Partition
A variety of tools can be used to encrypt and protect your data. They all require admin rights to be run on a particular computer. Rohos Mini Drive, however. Rohos Mini Drive, though it works regardless of whether you have administrator rights on your targeted computer or not.
The free edition allows you to create a secret, encrypted and password-secured portion with up to 8GB of space on the portable flash drive. The program uses auto on-the fly encryption using AES key length of 256 bits.
With the portable Rohos Disk Browserthat is installed directly on the flash drive it won’t require encryption drivers on your local system. Then, you’ll be able access your encrypted data from any location.
Choose to encrypt your USB drive on the Rohos Mini Drive start screen, select the drive, enter the new password, then select to create a disk. It will result in a password protected and encrypted partition on the external drive. You can also encrypt only a particular area on the USB drive creating an encrypted storage container.
You can access the secured container or partition by pressing on the Rohos Mini.exe icon in the root folder within the USB thumb drive. After you enter the password then you will be able to access the Rohos disk will be mounted like a distinct drive and it is accessible through File Explorer.
To shut down the Rohos partition click right-click on the Rohos icon on the Windows Taskbar notification area and choose disconnect.
VeraCrypt: Encrypt Your Entire Flash Drive
VeraCrypt will be the next version to TrueCrypt. It’s an app for portable devices that runs straight from your USB drive. It is important to note that VeraCrypt does require administrator permissions to function. It utilizes the-fly AES with 256 bits of encryption. Free versions are limited to a maximum size of 2GB.
VeraCrypt comes with an on-the-fly encryption employing a variety of encryption algorithms, such as 256-bit AES, Serpent, and TwoFish as well as combination of the three. Similar to similar to the Rohos Mini Drive, it can make an encrypted virtual disk that is mounted like the real disk. However, you can also secure entire storage devices or partitions.
Get VeryCrypt Portable, and then install the application on the USB drive. When you open the portable application it will display all the available drive letters. Select one and select Make Volume.
It will start this to launch the VeraCrypt Volume Creation Wizard. To secure your entire USB Flash drive choose to encrypt a drive or partition that is not a system part and then click the next.
The next step is to select a volume. you have the option of choosing the options of a standard or an hidden VeraCrypt Volume. The use of a hidden volume decreases the chance that someone will force you to divulge your password. Be aware that you’ll need to convert all of your USB drives to be able to create a hidden VeraCrypt volume.
Then, we’ll move on to our Basic VeraCrypt Volume. The next screen you will need to click select device Select your removable disk, then confirm by clicking OK and then select next.
To completely encrypt your USB drive, click the the partition to be encrypted and select the Next. VeryCrypt will notify you that you need to be prepared with a backup copy of the information in the event that there is a problem during encryption.
Choose the encryption as well as the hash algorithm You can also use standard settings. You’ll then be asked to choose your password for the Volume. The next step is to set your mouse movements randomly will determine the security for the encryption.
Choose the wipe mode The more wipes you can use, the more secure. In the final screen select “Encrypt” to initiate the encryption.
How to Encrypt Your Flash Drive on a Mac
If you’re running a Mac it doesn’t require an additional tool from a third party to secure you USB storage device.
The first step is to format the flash drive using the Apple HFS+ File System. Be aware that this deletes the files on the drive, which means it is recommended to backup them. On your Disk Utilityapp choose your flash drive, then click erase. In the pop-up window, indicate the format for the file, Mac OS Extended (Journaled), and choose erase at the bottom to format the drive.
After you’ve completed the previous steps, you’re now ready to make an encrypted USB drive. Just right-click on the drive in Finder then choose Encrypt and then enter the password. The process begins immediately and could take up to a few hours, depending upon the dimensions of the USB stick. In a short time, you’ll be protected by a password and encrypted USB drive.
Cryptsetup: Encrypt Your USB Drive on Linux
Cryptsetup is a no-cost function that lets you set up cryptographic volumes with AES 256 bit encryption. It’s accessible from in the traditional Linux repository.
NOTE: You should not employ this tool if plan to use the encrypted files on other systems than Linux. In addition the accessing of your flash drive encrypted requires installing Cryptsetup.
To protect your USB stick Linux You’ll need to install the Gnome Disk Utility along with Cryptsetup by using sudo apt-get. If you’re running Ubuntu you should already be installed. After that, launch Disks on the desktop, search for the flash drive and choose to format the drive or just a single partition using the option to encrypt it.
In this step you’ll need to choose the password. Make sure you replace all files that are already in use.
Save Individual Files With a Password
As we’ve mentioned it isn’t possible to ensure the security of the whole USB stick without encryption. If you require an efficient method to secure a handful of documents, you can protect them with the help of a USB password.
A variety of programs, such as Word and Excel let you save your documents using the option of encryption.
For instance In Word When it is opened, click File > Information and expand to the menu to the Protect Document menu. Select to encrypt the document using a password.
You must enter your password and confirm it to secure your document following the steps above. Last but not least, save your document, and remember the password.
To secure PDF files with passwords that you store on the USB flash drive you can make use of the PDFTK Builder that also is a portable application.
Use 7-Zip to Create a Password-Protected Archive
Archive tools such as 7-Zip can also encode and secure your files with AES256.
Install and run the 7-Zip program, click the directory or file on the USB drive, and then choose 7-Zip >Add to Archive. Within the Add to Archive window, select Archive as the archive format and then add the password. Then click “OK” to begin the process of archiving and encryption.
Password Protect Your USB Drive With WinRAR
WinRAR can be described as a shareware archiver which is used by Windows. Windows operating system. Similar to WinZip it can come in handy when compressing massive volumes of data.
However, you may also make use of it to safeguard your files. This is especially true when you want to secure particular folders or files rather than the whole USB stick.
Click right-click within the file you wish to secure and then select the option to add it as an archive. On the General tab in on the right, choose for the file’s title, choose RAR as an archive format, and then click Create password. The next screen will allow you to enter an encryption password, then select the encryption of name of the file radio box and then click the OK button..
Your new RAR will shortly be created and require a password in order to be opened.