Have you ever felt insecure about what you have on your pc? Maybe they are things you shouldn't have, or maybe you are just worried about your precious data (credit cards, login info, etc.) falling into the wrong hands? Then this intsructable is made with you in mind.

Being at college now, system security has become a priority for me. It is easy for someone to swipe a laptop and although it is password protected with windows, these are easy to bypass.  And for me my computer is key (being a physics/computer science major), so I want to keep mine as safe as possible and I hope you do too.

In this instructable I intend to lead you step by step from backing up your data, to wiping the computer clean, right down to installing the OS, and then I will lead you through the process of encrypting your drives using the AES encryption algorithm that the top level government agencies use. PS, I apologize for any lack of pictures, I do not have a capture card capable of hdmi or VGA input so the screenshots I use are all from my phone or the internet.

For this instructable you will need:
- A PC 
- An Operating System or two. (I will be dual booting win 7 and a linux distro and i will instruct on how to accomplish dual booting)
- Truecrypt (free and open source encryption software, available from www.truecrypt.org)
- Darik's Boot and Nuke (optional but recommended, available free from http://www.dban.org/)
- CD/DVD media (for boot discs)
- Backup media (discussed in the next step)
- Moderate-Advanced computer knowledge 
- Although not required, this instructable involves the downtime of your computer so I would advise one of the following routes:
      1.) Memorize every, single part of this instructable to perform during the process
      2.) Print this instructable out to follow
      3.) Use a second machine to follow this instructable

Notice: Although I will be walking you through the process, please be aware that every system is unique and may have specialized challenges (this is where computer knowledge helps) and I take no responsibility for any loss of data, or damage to your machine done through this process. Additionally, I take no responsibility if you are using this knowledge for illegal or immoral use. Please proceed with your own caution.

Step 1: Backing Up Your Data

There are many ways to go about this, mainly depending on how much data you need to back up.

The first step would be to round up all of the files you want saved (consider favorites list on browsers, pictures, videos, music, and documents) and put them all in one folder. right click the folder and view its properties to see how much data is there, and select an appropriate backup scenario.

method 1: CD/DVD (0-700 Mb (CD) or 0-4.7 Gb (DVD))

CD and DVDs are a good method for backing up limited amounts of data. Granted you could use multiple cd or dvds and achieve success as much as any other method, it will start to get crazy burning tens to hundreds of data discs. But if you have a relatively  small amount of data, your good to go, start burning.

method 2: Flash media (0-64 Gb)

Flash media are great backup tools for the simple reason that they are rewritable, however they do get on the expensive side the bigger you go. If you have a moderate amount of data to backup, this could be your option. Flash media are small, more reliable than discs, and are faster than burning discs.

method 3: Removable Hard Drive (0-? Tb)

This option can work for anyone but will be more popular among people with high storage needs, for example, maybe you have your entire DVD and music collection backed up on your PC and are not willing to lose it. This option would be for you. Removable hard drives are now available in any size up to 2 Tb and some go even higher. The only downside when working with this amount of data, is speed. it takes a long time to transfer 2 Tb of data and you should be prepared for that. Maybe consider setting up the transfer before you go to bed and let it run all night undisturbed. 

Once you are done your back ups, you can head on to the next step and begin the cleaning of your system.
<p>The best solution would be encryption. I carry my laptop and USB around for business purpose and i always encrypt my data with Data Protecto. This software has been loyal to me as i have never faced any problem regarding security. Try Data Protecto encryption and folder lock feature. Other features are useful too.</p>

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