Securing Information – TrueCrypt

I’m fanatical about backing up my work. Writing software is complex and costly business and the thought of losing work and having to do it over is one I don’t care to entertain. I backup to an off-site server several times a day, and to other PC’s including my Notebook which has everything on it I need to allow me to continue working, if something should happen to my Desktop PC.

I also have a very nice backup setup with my other product, ED for Windows , which is a programmer’s editor. I spend the majority of my time writing code in ED and have it set up to automatically make a copy of each file I save. The copy can be placed on any drive, and I have it setup to use a USB Flash Drive. This is a poor-man’s mirror and ensures that I have an exact copy of all my work, without any extra effort on my part.

Whenever I walk out the door the USB Flash Drive goes with me, a bit like a security blanket I guess. Now the worry with this is that should I loose my USB Flash Drive all of my valuable information will be available to whoever finds it. It is unlikely the information will be of interest to others, but you never know.

So I started searching for a way to secure the data on my Flash Drive and was fortunate to enough find TrueCrypt, and I have to tell that I’m really impressed.

TrueCrypt enables you to store information in an encrypted volume or drive. Simply put this prevents anyone from accessing your data unless they know your secret password. It offers a choice of Encryption algorithms including AES, Twofish, Triple DES etc. It is very easy to use, once you’ve read through the well written User Guide and very capable. You can either create an encrypted drive or create a file which gets mounted and appears as a normal Windows drive. You then access this drive just like you do any other Windows drive, once you’ve entered your password of course. It does have some overheads both in terms of using a bit of extra space on the drive and taking a little longer to save files, but these are small prices to pay for the strong security it delivers. The possibility of someone being able to access your data, is as good as nil.

TrueCrypt is also a good way to secure your Surfulater files, should you have that need.

So if you have information you wish to secure from prying eyes, I recommend you give TrueCrypt a try.

I’ve been evaluating a few other bits of software in conjunction with a new PC I’ve recently purchased, so you can expect some more reviews before long.

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