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Create Hidden, Encrypted Partition On USB Drive

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Create Hidden, Encrypted Partition On USB Drive

TrueCrypt is an open source encryption tool that does a fantastic job at encrypting your files. We've covered it many times before with easy tutorials on encrypting your USB drive, and encrypting a folder - but today I'd like to show you how to create a truly hidden encrypted drive, that could remain hidden even if you were forced to reveal the password.

A "hidden" encrypted volume provides you with "plausible deniability" should the need ever arise. For example, if your drives were seized, and you were forced under order of court to reveal the password - then your hidden drive would provide an extra layer of security. How We will first create an outer volume that is encrypted, and hide some fake files on there. Then within that encrypted outer volume, we will create a further encrypted volume. You end up with two password-protected volumes - and you can safely reveal the outer volume password - without revealing a secondary hidden volume. The TrueCrypt page has a more technical explanation of a Hidden Volume that you might want to read.

Since we've covered basic Truecrypt file and folder encryptions before, today I will be using an entire partition. This could be a USB hard drive or a second hard drive in your PC. This drive will be formatted entirely in the process, so make sure there is nothing important on it.

Begin by plugging in your drive and creating a partition that we will encrypt. I showed you how to create a partition on Windows last week, but on my OS X installation I simply opened Disk Utility, find the drive in the left side, and click on the Partition tab on the right. I chose 1 partition, gave it a name, and clicked Apply.

Next, you need to copy some fake files to the encrypted disk. These can be anything, but ideally they should be private looking files, maybe some home movies - something you wouldn't mind someone seeing if you were forced to reveal passwords. Warning: You shouldn't write to this outer volume later, or your actual hidden volume may become corrupted. It is a fake storage container only to act as a diversion. Click on the button labelled Open Outer Volume, and start copying files in. Bear in mind that if you have a 1 TB drive and someone investigating finds only 100 MB of "secret" files, it may look a bit suspicious.

Make the outer volume in the same way, but this time make your password long, and really good. Include capital letters, lowercase letters, numbers and punctuation. A good tactic if you don't like random passwords is to create a sentence around it like: 20MILLIONsecretF1l3$. When asked if you'll be storing large files, I suggest you choose 'yes' as the world of computing moves rapidly, and even today some movies are over 4 GB in size. Best to future-proof the drive now.

Wait again while the outer volume is encrypted. You can now mount your secure hidden volume via TrueCrypt, as it won't be mounted by default once the hidden volume is created. Just click Mount All Devices, and type in the correct password. You don't need to type both your outer volume password and your hidden one - just the hidden one is fine.

If you read through this far, then obviously you have something worth hiding, and by utilising a hidden encrypted volume, you give yourself a way out should things go awry. Why bother encrypting a drive if the big-brother police state you are living in has the power to legally demand the decryption keys, or send you to jail Don't be a sucker, just give them the wrong keys!

You can now save your confidential data in the newly created drive. The newly created drive details will show up in the connected disk section of Rohos Mini Drive. From here you can browse through the files on the encrypted drive.

Rohos Mini Drive password-protects a USB flash drive by creating a hidden and encrypted partition on the disk. If you have many private files on the USB drive and want to keep them secret, you can protect them with a password


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