TrueCrypt Tutorial: Truly Portable Data Encryption

A short presentation of the program’s functions

TrueCrypt is a free software that encrypts data “on-the-fly”. Right now the newest version released is version 4.3. You can create an encrypted hard drive, a separate partition or a directory with TrueCrypt. It doesn’t simply encrypt the content of files, but their names and the names of the directories they are in as well. Moreover there is no way to check the size of the encrypted directory/HDD/partition. TrueCrypt is available for Windows and Linux.

Advantages of TrueCrypt:

* creates encrypted hard drive and mounts it,
* encrypts an entire drive, selected partition/directory and even USB flash drive,
* encryption is automatic, on-the-fly and transparent for user
* there is no way to check the size of the encrypted partition/directory,
* uses such encryption algorithms as: AES-256, Serpent, Twofish,
* enables the creation of a hidden volume,
* in use you can’t distinguish between the created volume and common data,
* it is very simple to use,
* the virtual drives created with TrueCrypt are completely independent of the operating system,
* authorization keys can be held on a USB stick.
* and much more…

There are three ways to secure the encrypted data:

* with a password,
* with a special key,
* with both a password and a key.

What is this key? The key can be any file from your hard drive e.g.: *.avi, *.mpg or *.txt and even a whole directory containing a few files. Warning! Be careful using *.txt file as the key because if you modify it, the key will change and you won’t be able to decrypt your data. What happens when you lose your key? You will never recover your data! That’s why I suggest using both, the key and the password as the best way. In this case if you lose your key you can change it by entering the right password, and vice versa. Naturally, there is no ideal solution because you can forget your password and lose your key at the same time.



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