Instructables

How to Secure Your USB Drive

Picture of How to Secure Your USB Drive
Everyone has files they don't want others seeing. Maybe they are financial documents, school work, or other "questionable" files. Whatever they are, you want a way to secure them. Putting a password on your PC will do you no good, and it would not be portable. Buying a USB drive makes data portable, put usually not secure. For truly secure data, you need an encrypted USB drive.

I will show you how to make a super, unhackable USB drive. It will be of no use to anyone but you, and even if someone had access to government grade hacking software, they would not be able to access the data.

I am NOT responsible for whatever you put on the drive, or whatever damage you do with said data or the drive.
 
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Step 1: The Tools

Picture of The Tools
truecrypt.png
First and foremost, you need two things:

1) A USB drive
2) TrueCrypt

The USB drive can be obtained at any store that sells material items. You should probably get a 1GB or bigger, because 1GB only costs about $10. I am using a 4GB that I have had for 2 years (same as the one in the picture below, just half the memory).

TrueCrypt is an open-source (free for your not-so-computer-knowledgeable-person) software. It uses government grade encryption (256-bit) and better, so you can be sure your data is safe. You can download it at http://www.truecrypt.org/. After installing it, you will need to restart your computer.
lommham14 days ago

TrueCrypt has become one of the most popular drive encryption programs. And it's definitely good at drive encryption, above all, it's open source. But for me, its complicated encryption process is flaw, I hope to protect flash drive in several steps, for I'm just a computer novice. In this aspect, I think compression programs such as 7 zip(www.7-zip.org) and file encryption program such as Folder Protector(www.kakasoft.com/folder-encryption/) are better in this point.

frodobot4 years ago
This is a really cool idea. BUT, my problem is that where you put "A hidden partition gives you what is called "plausable deniability." This means that there is a hidden drive there, and someone may know it, but they cannot prove it. A hidden partition is a great place to put REALLY sensitive documents." made me immediately think that paedophiles and internet perves could use this to hide paedophilic files and images. Does anybody think the same?
No, but I am now - thanks for blabbing - now I am sure that you have given the idea to those exact people that might be reading this.
Sometimes it's better not to say anything.
Good point... Didn't think about being 13 at the time.
BhagyashreeP10 months ago
Its very important to protect USB drive as its one of the most vulnerable part of computer. The software recommended above is really good, but along with that i also use the techniques given here " http://techwikasta.com/2012/10/how-to-secure-your-usb-drive/ " , this help me keep my USB drive more secured.
what is the gutmann method? please tell me
It is a method of data deletion where the data is overwritten 35 times. If you delete files using it, they will be impossible to recover.
will it deleat everything even if im entering my really really long password and i tap a wrong key.
TrueCrypt is good for encrypting documents and securing them but it is hackable.
I've done it before because I accidently forgot my password for it.
Crazy Leprecaun (author)  Jamez Britton2 years ago
And how'd you do that? Because it's government-grade encryption.
i downloaded a government-grade password variable hacker
Crazy Leprecaun (author)  Jamez Britton2 years ago
Oh really? And where'd you get that?
IAMAFISH4 years ago
Thanks for the instructable it has been very useful. What if your a paranoid terrorist government agent instead of just one of them?
I'm rolling around on the floor laughing at the above right now...
jvpernis3 years ago
can you make an usb which encrypts all files on the hard drive (and really secret files stored on the usb) until the usb is plugged in? and if u pull out the usb that all files will encrypt automaticly again? that'd be awesome because it is kinda like a key to your computer. very useful when u have a laptop. nice instructable by the way!
ArduMir3 years ago
A good starter tutorial, but Step 4 in your article is not always correct. I'm purely writing this to be informative, not to insult you. Flash drives use flash memory to store data, which tends to wear down after a prolonged usage. To prevent it from wearing down as quick, a technique called 'wear leveling' was implemented. Instead of a physical sector of the drive being overwritten like a normal disk, new data gets written to unused sectors of memory, while the 'overwritten data' just becomes free to use. Basically, there's two problems you'll have. The first is you won't actually be overwriting the old data, it will just write off to unused sectors to prevent wearing. Second is you're using the Gutmann method to make 35 passes across unused sectors that may never overwrite the old data, also causing wearing to your flash drive.
lockpick3 years ago
Hi I'm on a Mac and when I attempt to encrypt my flash drive it asks me for a pass word and when I enter a password it says incorrect. Any help?
red 9er3 years ago
Can i apply this method to say, an entire internal hard drive in a computer?
bsoud4 years ago
I have an external drive for work. Its encrypted and I was able to mount the drive at work. However, when I try to auto mount it at home, i put in the password, and it says "Incorrect password or no TrueCrypt volume found"...I Absolutely have the right password, its the one I used at work. Any ideas?
mox386 bsoud4 years ago
I have the same problem, and there seems to be nothing out there on the internet about the Truecrypt "Incorrect password or no TrueCrypt volume found" error on the automount feature of truecrypt. It's getting to be a real hassle as it used to work on this computer. You can kinda tell others are having the issue, but there are no answers out there yet, and I've been searching for a few months off and on.
Crazy Leprecaun (author)  bsoud4 years ago
The obvious answer would be that you are selecting the wrong drive to decrypt. If that's not the answer, try one of these:

1) You did forget the password (or a keyfile).
2) The header is corrupted.
3) Some strange OS or user privileges issues.

If none of those work, try the TrueCrypt Forums or TrueCrypt FAQ.
dirtbike9854 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
WHO CARES!!!!!!!!
 hi i think that you have been bullied into believing everything the US government tells you hell if it is illegal then lets use it. usually a government makes something illegal if they cant make any money on it or they crack it  
 BS
How would encryption of your own data as such be illegal, is that like you cant put more than 3 padlocks on a bicycle?
lol
Crazy Leprecaun (author)  dirtbike9854 years ago
I was not aware of this. Where did you get this information?
 It says resource busy whenever I enter the password.
 Hi, on a mac, I see a select device button at the bottom of the screen, do I need to worry about this section?
 On second thought, never mind, my new question is it asks me my volume location and to select file.
 Can I add documents as I save them without reformatting?
Crazy Leprecaun (author)  M4industries4 years ago
Yes. You just add them when the volume is decrypted, then dismount the volume when you are done.
and the retartard states he is a terriost govenment agent and paranoid. well i say good luck with that. and good work on the instructable i put it on my flash and it works exept the fact that when i go to use it my computer says insert a drive into the port.
Yeah, it will do that. You can't access the encrypted drive from My Computer (or your OS specific file browser). You have to use TrueCrypt to access it in it's "decrypted form".
can the drive be mounted without the truecrypt software installed on the computer you are using?
Crazy Leprecaun (author)  Psychic Master4 years ago
No. You have to have TrueCrypt installed on the computer. HOWEVER, if you have administrator privileges, you can use TrueCrypt in traveler mode. See the website for details.
rada1944 years ago
How would we put are computer password as the truecrypt encryption is that possible
Crazy Leprecaun (author)  rada1944 years ago
Sorry, but I can't understand your question.
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