Saturday, April 23, 2011

TrueCrypt - Free, Simple, and Powerful Encryption for Everyone

Just last week, there was a minor furor when Dropbox amended their terms of service to announce that any data stored on the cloud service could be revealed upon government request.  This is really no different from the existing policies and actions of many cloud providers, from Google to Amazon to Yahoo.  Add to that the constant pressure of hackers and occasional accidental reveal of account information and passwords, and it is surprising that we have entered an era where many users are trusting their data to be stored on servers beyond their immediate control.  Considering this environment, encryption can be a useful tool in safeguarding that data, and TrueCrypt puts the power of top-quality encryption into a very user-friendly format, for free.
TrueCrypt allows several different types of encryption - you can encrypt an entire volume, such as a USB Storage Thumb Drive, or an entire Hard Drive.  You can also encrypt a system drive, preventing unautorized users from even booting into the Operating System.  You can encrypt a volume within a normal drive, allowing you to create a secure "locker" for sensitive files. 
TrueCrypt also features "Plausible Deniability" - within an encrypted volume, past your actual "secret files" you can create an alternate set of files, with a separate password.  If you are ever forced to reveal your password, you could give this second password, which would reveal the second set of files, leaving your original hidden volume undiscovered.

TrueCrypt is an Open Source project - when it comes to encryption, this isa huge plus.  It means the code has been vetted by the Open Source community, and that there are no hidden loopholes or back doors to bypass your encryption as there are in some proprietary or government implementations.

TrueCrypt is free, easy to use with Wizards to walk you through each step of the process, and it provides state-of-the-art encryption protection for your privacy.  It is available for download at:

More information about TrueCrypt is available here:

TrueCrypt can also be used to encrypt your Dropbox files, although it is not "offically supported" - this allows you to securely store files in the cloud, regardless of privacy policies of the service provider, and should the government or anyone else want a look at your data, it becomes your perogative to allow it, rather than leaving the decision to someone else.

1 comment:

  1. Dear obscureport,

    All I can say about truecrypt is that It is absolutely AWESOME.

    The graphic user interface is very intuitive, even for beginners.

    I store all my secrets in a truecrypt container, they couldn't be safer.