How to Encrypt USB drive using BitLocker®?
Microsoft Windows 7 offers a new feature called BitLocker to Go, which allows you to encrypt your USB devices with passwords. This utility is very handy if you want to ensure that your sensitive and confidential information do not get into wrong hands if you ever lose one of these devices.
The job of BitLocker is to encrypt the drives of the computer so that their data can only be accessed after enteringÂ the correct password that can decrypt the data. If you have encrypted the drives of your system, there is no chance that your data is lost to unauthorized people. Nobody can access your data (unless they know the password), even if your laptop or removable drives are stolen.
BitLocker also came with Windows Vista but it was not much liked by users because of its complex procedure. On the other hand, Windows 7 BitLocker is quite simple and straight-forward. It offers a covering security to the users’ files. It can be used not only to protect files on computer disks but also to secure data by encrypting files on removable devices like SD Cards, USB drives, etc.Â So, so in case of theft or loss, your data is not in the hands of strangers.
You can encrypt your data using BitLocker within minutes. Open My Computer and Right-click on the drive that you wish to encrypt. Select Turn on BitLocker. Once BitLocker has initialized the flash drive, you will be asked to enter a password. This password will be required later in order to unlock the drive. You also have a choice to set up a Smartcard.
After that you will need to store the recovery key which can be used in the event of forgetting your password or losing your Smartcard. In case, you store it as a file, ensure that you do not save it on the drive you are encrypting.
You will see a confirmation message after which your computer will be ready to start encrypting the drive. You simply need to click the Start Encrypting button. Progress screen will be displayed on screen till the process goes on.
Follow the given steps to unlock an encrypted drive:
STEP 1. Plug in the USB device into a Windows 7 computer and you should be automatically asked for a password to decrypt the device. Then just enter the password in the password field andÂ hit “Unlock”.
STEP 2. Congratulations you are done. The drive will now behave normally.
Note: If you want to use this tool, you will require either Windows 7 Ultimate or Enterprise edition installed on your computer.
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