Feeds

Getting started with TrueCrypt

Turn your generic Flash drive into a secure data store

High performance access to file storage

TrueCrypt is a free, open source application that allows you to create encrypted file stores and open them under Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. It's UI can appear daunting to the newcomer, but the app's actually very straightforward to use.

First, you need to download TrueCrypt for your preferred platform(s). We're using a Mac here, but there are versions for Linux and Windows, and they all interoperate. The latest version of the software can be downloaded from the TrueCrypt website.

TrueCrypt

The TrueCrypt UI

TrueCrypt makes encrypted volumes available as virtual drives. You can have up to 32 of these open at once. To make one, click the Create Volume button. This activates the program's Volume Creation Wizard:

TrueCrypt

Most folk will want the 'encrypted file container' option, which creates a file that you can use to contain your data in an encrypted form and which TrueCrypt can use to mount a virtual volume. On the next page, select the default Standard TrueCrypt Volume.

On the next page, click the Select File... button. Type in the name you want to give to the encrypted file and choose where you want TrueCrypt to save it:

TrueCrypt

The next screen lets you select how you want the file to be encrypted. The options are really only of interest to crypto wonks, but a rule of thumb perhaps is that the more ciphers the better. But AES is good enough for the US government's Top Secret documents, so we use that:

TrueCrypt

Next, choose how big you want your volume to be, in kilobytes (KB), megabytes (MB) or gigabytes (GB). Afterwards, you'll be asked for a password. The longer the better - though no more than 64 characters - and with a good mix of numbers and both upper- and lower-case letters. Equally, though, don't opt for something overly long that you'll have to write down in case you forget. TrueCrypt suggests you want at least 20 characters in there, but the size of your passwords should depend on whether you want to protect your data from casual peekers or hardcore hackers.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.