Protect files on your computer from prying eyes
TrueCrypt can protect your important documents by scrambling (encrypting) them so that they can only be accessed with a password. It is ideal for use on the move, whether for a laptop or USB memory key that could get lost or stolen while away from home.
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You can either install the program normally or to just extract the files. The latter option can be used to run TrueCrypt in a portable apps mode. The other installlation options include creating a restore point and associating the .rc file extension with TrueCrypt. At the end of the installation it offers to display the user guide.
TrueCrypt can hide files in two ways. The easiest entails creating a container file that appears as a disk for the purposes of adding documents. It is possible to encrypt entire hard disks, even the one containing Windows. While this offers quite a bit of security, do remember that forgetting the password will render the disk useless.
For added security you can even create a hidden TrueCrypt volume. The idea is to create a second TrueCrypt volume inside the first. Should you find yourself forced to give up a password. More details can be found in the help pages here.
There is a wizard that explains setting up a TrueCrypt volume. Simply click on the Create Volume button in the main TrueCrypt window to get started. Select a location for the encrypted folder and click on Next.
In common with most of TrueCrypt, the option not to save the history of files is selected by default. It makes sense when you think about it, but remember to keep some record of what you have done to avoid losing access to any documents.
You can choose what kind of encryption you would like to use and even benchmark the computer with the different formats. We were pleased to see that there is more information offered about every option. Many of the terms used sound complicated so this is helpful.
Select a size for the encrypted volume and click on Next. Move the mouse around to create a random key and click on Format.
To access the encrypted folder. Click on the Select File button and find the file you just created. Select a drive letter for it to use and click on Mount. Enter the password and the folder will appear as a disk that you can use to store files. Click on Dismount to remove access to the folder.
We found TrueCrypt to be easy to use and a useful tool if you want to keep documents safe.
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