Portable storage: Why you should always use encryption!

vbimport

#1

Portable storage: Why you should always use encryption!.

[newsimage]http://static.rankone.nl/images_posts/2010/09/j4kdH.png[/newsimage]The looming threat of data theft reminds many Internet users to be careful with their personal information online -- even if the companies and government agencies we expect to use proper security measures also shrug off their responsibilities.


Read the full article here: [http://www.myce.com/news/portable-media-why-you-should-always-encrypt-34243/](http://www.myce.com/news/portable-media-why-you-should-always-encrypt-34243/)


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#2

Windows offers a built-in EFS (Encrypted File System) solution and free open source alternatives such as TrueCrypt are also available.
Using the built-in EFS is usually not a solution for external portable storage for the following reasons:

  1. EFS is not supported on the “Home” versions of Windows, so you most likely won’t have access to any of the encrypted data on a portable drive from work if you attach it to your home computer.

  2. Accessing the EFS encrypted data is impossible unless your username on the computer, where the data was copied to the portable storage, and the username on the computer, where you want to access the data, are identical and have the same SID; this will normally only be the case if those two computers are in the same domain - simply creating logins with the same username and password will not be enough.

So EFS is not normally a solution for protecting external portable data (since you probably won’t be able to access the data yourself), but TrueCrypt is indeed a good, portable, and free solution.


#3

I second DrageMester… TrueCrypt is an excellent choice. The problem with it might be accessing data when you don’t have administrative privileges on the Windows workstation you are on. But the product is open source and cross platform. Other options to secure data stored on a portable storage device would be GnuPG (OpenPGP/gpg) and 7-Zip with AES encryption. It depends on how you travel. I would not carry my PGP key-rings on a device, but perhaps I would use symmetric (passphrase) encryption. KeePass is a nice little portable product for storing passwords.


#4

EFS on a portable device is bad news. if you’re running Windows 7, its better to use BitLocker.


#5

The big problem with BitLocker is that it’s also not available in the Windows home versions either. Going by the compare Windows 7 editions page, it’s only available in the Ultimate and Enterprise editions. Very few but the highest end computers come with the Ultimate edition as standard and generally only large corporations use the Enterprise edition.

I use TrueCrypt on a laptop at work and found it very straight forward to install and use. It works in Windows XP as well as Vista and 7, both 32/64-bit including the home editions and many other operating systems such as Linux. :slight_smile:


#6

[QUOTE=Seán;2544156]I use TrueCrypt on a laptop at work and found it very straight forward to install and use. It works in Windows XP as well as Vista and 7, both 32/64-bit including the home editions and many other operating systems such as Linux. :)[/QUOTE] Using the TrueCrypt boot encryption on laptops is almost mandatory. It’s free and it’s awesome.


#7

[QUOTE=Seán;2544156]The big problem with BitLocker is that it’s also not available in the Windows home versions either. Going by the compare Windows 7 editions page, it’s only available in the Ultimate and Enterprise editions. Very few but the highest end computers come with the Ultimate edition as standard and generally only large corporations use the Enterprise edition. [/QUOTE]

Yes, you need Ultimate or Enterprise to create it, but the volumes can be accessed by all Windows 7 editions and even old, crusty operating systems like XP.