Since we all use USB thumb drives or USB Flash Memory Sticks, sometimes we need to make sure that your data is protected from others. You can protect the data by encrypting, hiding and/or by password protecting it on the USB stick. Protecting the data on a USB drive is vital for information system security because consequences or unauthorised access or losing drives loaded with sensitive information can be significant. The sensitive files available on a USB flash drive require protection from theft and accidental lost.
How do you password protect those files? Is there any way to make sure that only you will be able to access a particular partition on a USB disk? Let us check few techniques to ensure that your data is protected on a flash drive and is inaccessible to unauthorised people.
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How to Protect USB Drive Data
There are different methods to protect your files on a USB stick. You can encrypt data, password protect files, encrypt the data on the drive and even by creating password protected and encrypted partitions of USB drive.
Encrypt Your Data
One way to achieve data security is by encryption of data stored on a USB flash drive. Windows 7 Enterprise and Ultimate Editions and Windows Server 2008 R2 provide USB drive encryption using BitLocker and Apple Mac OS X OS since Mac OS X Panther, has provided software for disc data encryption.
You can also use excellent freeware tools such as FreeOTFE that allows the contents of a USB drive to be encrypted automatically and transparently.
Password Protect individual files
Another method is to password protect each of your files. So when you are saving a file, you can set a password to open the same via going to Tools->Options and the security tab. Microsoft office documents generally supports password protection of files. But this is not the case with other files such as text files, image files etc.
Lock, Hide and Encrypt Partitions on USB flash Drive
There are tools such as Rohos Mini Drive can be used to protect USB flash drive with a password and by making hidden and encrypted partition on the USB flash drive memory. This tool doesn’t require administrative privileges to use and encrypt data on USB drive. Most of these freeware tools use AES 256 bit encryption and the encrypted partition is protected by a password.
You can also lock your USB Stick using a password with the help of tools like USB SafeGuard. But the free version works only with USB Flash drive of size max 2 GB.
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