Hard Drive Encryption Using BitLocker
Do you have a hard drive or memory stick you want to secure and password protect? Do you have files or folders you want to protect from unauthorized access? Your computer may already have a tool to do so! BitLocker hard drive encryption is a drive encryption program which comes free with all Windows 7 Professional operating systems, and above.
BitLocker can be used to password protect any jump or hard drive. System password is the password you have set to access your computer. BitLocker allows you to add an added layer of security for specific drives with sensitive information on them. In order to access BitLocker protected drives, you will need to enter an additional key (a line of text).
Whether it’s prying eyes in the office or a case of a lost USB key, BitLocker gives you added protection so you don’t have to worry about unwanted eyes on your drive files.
I’m going to walk you through a hard drive encryption using Bitlocker, step by step.
For demonstration, I used a USB flash drive. The same steps could be used with any internal or external hard drive.
Note: BitLocker can only be used for encrypting hard disk and not separate folders or files.
Setting up BitLocker Hard Drive Encryption
Go to your Start Menu and open My Computer.
Verify your USB flash drive is connected. Note: Your Drive name and letter will be different.
Open your Start Menu again and type in BitLocker Disk Encryption.
BitLocker will open up.
Select your flash drive. Warning: This will shut down your computer so close and save programs and files before continuing.
Once restarted, you can select password and enter your new encryption password, also known as your encryption key.
Click Next. The next window will give you the option to save or print the key for your lock. You must select one. We recommend you choose the “Save the recovery key to a file” option. This way, if you forget the password/key, you can still get into the drive.
Once you hit Next, encryption on your drive will begin.
Once complete, your drive is now encrypted. When you go to plug your drive into your own or any other machine, you will need to enter the password/key. Only then will you be able to unlock and access the encrypted drive. See screenshot example below.
There you have it. Encrypting your hard drive and securing your data is as easy as following these steps.
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