TrurCrypt is an excellent yet free encryption software which securely hides data. Once you encrypt data, no one will be able to open, read or modify the data. To anyone who access the encrypted data it doesn’t make any sense. The original data appears only after decrypting. TrueCrypt secure data by creating a virtual File Container(or a virtual Hard drive) and the encrypts it. The encrypted data is stored as a single file.
You can download TrueCrypt for free from http://www.truecrypt.org/downloads. Once you download the exe file(TrueCrypt.exe), you need to install it. Installation of the software is very easy and straight forward. You just need to click ‘Next’ several times before the installation completes.
Now, you have installed the software and ready to use it of encrypting your data. Below are the steps :
1) Double click on the ‘TrueCrypt’ icon on the desktop or you can also opt for ‘Start menu’->’programs’->’TrueCrypt’->’TrueCrypt’ Below screen will appear.
2) Now click on ‘create Volume’ button.
3) Once you click on ‘create volume’, following wizard will appear.
4) There are three options available on the screen. choose the first one ‘Create and encrypted file container’, which is also selected by default. The option is for new and inexperienced users.
5) Click ‘Next’. Two options are there on the next screen as shown below. Choose the first one ‘Standard TrueCrypt volume’ (selected by default also).
6) Click ‘Next’. Following screen will appear where to need to select a file . This is not the file which needs to be encrypted but will act as TrueCrypt’s virtual container. CAUTION :If you choose an existing file then TrueCrypt will not encrypt it but delete the file and replace it with newly created container. The container can have any extension and hence you can create a plain text file and choose the same. Here I have created and choosen ‘tech2know.txt’ as shown below.
7) Now click ‘Next’. We will select the encryption algorithm in this step. Encryption algorithm is also called as ‘Cipher’. To give you some more information on ciphers, these are the algorithm for encrypting and decrypting the data. This process is pertaining to a password and a keyfile. All the options in the drop down list are encryption algorithm and you can use any but AES is encryption standard and is the best in terms of encryption/decryption speed and strength. Here we are selecting ‘AES’.
8 ) Now click ‘Next‘ which will result in following screen. Here we’ll select the size of container. The prompt ask you to choose size in KB, MB, GB. Here I am choosing 2MB.
9) Click ‘Next’. Now, we’ll create password for the container. Additionally you can choose a keyfile also. Once you select a keyfile, the same is necessary(with password) for opening a document. You can choose any file as keyfile(mp3, jpg, txt etc) or create your own by using an image or text file. Here I am not using keyfile.
10) Click ‘Next’. following screen will appear. This step is for formating the volume. This will create a virtual file system for the container(Tech2know.txt in this case, which we choose in step 6) without affecting the file system in which the container is stored actually(C drive in this case). In other words, it will create a file system by formating the container and not the hard drive of your computer in which container(tech2know.txt) is stored. So don’t worry friends.
11) Click ‘Format‘. Below screen will appear. Again, click ‘Yes’. Now your container is created. If you want to create another one then you need to click ‘Next’ again (this screen is not shown here).
12) Now its time to mount the volume(container) which you have just created. In simple words, this is a process to assign a virtual drive letter to the container(tech2know.txt). Thats it. For mounting the volume, select the container that we have just created i.e tech2know via ‘Select file’ then select a drive letter from the list and then click on ‘Mount’. You will be ask for the password. Type the password which you have specified while creating the container and click on ‘OK’.
13) On clicking OK. You will see the following screen which shows that the mounting process is completed successfully. Now your encrypted volume(i.e container Tech2know.txt) is mounted as a drive in your system(drive K here).Now you can copy and paste the data to/from the new volume(drive K). But, the data is actually getting stored in container only i.e in tech2know.txt in C drive.
Image below shows how mounted volume will look as a drive in ‘My computer’. Whatever you store here will actually be stored in container(tech2know.txt)
Image below shows files in drive K .
You can go inside the mounted drive and view the content of any file by double clicking it. To give you some more information, container(Tech2know.txt) acts just like a normal file which you can cut, copy and then paste somewhere else(provided you have Dismounted drive K) as shown below : (just select the drive to be dismounted and click on ‘Dismount’)
Once you dismount the drive, you can copy or cut the container(tech2know.txt) and paste it anywhere you want, say a USB drive. If size of your USB is 4GB and you have created the container of 3GB then you have a portable encrypted device at your disposal with 3GB space for encrypted data and remaining 1GB for normal data. Remember that you always have to mount the container for viewing the data and while mounting you have to supply the password which you had given while creating the container. If you double click on the container after dismounting, it will look like a file which have some strange characters in it or looks like a corrupted file. The same is shown below. No one would be able to even imagine that it actually stores some other files.
With this we come to the end of this post. I hope you enjoyed reading this. Stay tuned for more.