Guidance on Bitlocker Encryption setup - Removable USB Flash Drives


  1. Posts : 48
    Win 10 PRO x64
       #1

    Guidance on Bitlocker Encryption setup - Removable USB Flash Drives


    Win 10 Pro 64-bit
    Ver. 1909 b,18363.535

    I'm looking at options for securing the USB flash drives (content) from unauthorised access. I don't care so much about losing the data -it's largely a back-up of working data- but want to provide an obstacle so they would reformat the drive for re-use rather than trying to look at the data.

    I looked at the tutorials that show you how to set up Bitlocker Protection on removable drives (I believe the correct term in this case is 'Bitlocker to go') and I have tested it out and the option works well for me.

    Appreciate any advice from experienced users using Bitlocker in this way and I guess any pitfalls.

    Ps. My fixed system drive/s are not protected by Bitlocker - I have not felt it necessary at this time.

    Thank you.
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  2. hsehestedt's Avatar
    Posts : 2,353
    Windows 10 Pro, 20H2
       #2

    I use bitlocker as well for portable drives, but what you want to accomplish sounds like something that bitlocker will not do.

    It sounds like you are looking for "Plausible Deniability". Basicically, when someone looks at the drive, they wouldn't even be able to tell that a valid volume or data exists on the drive, making it less likely that they will would even try to perform any sort of recovery of data on that disk.

    You may want to look at a free open source encryption program by the name of VeraCrypt.

    You can find VeraCrypt here:

    VeraCrypt - Free Open source disk encryption with strong security for the Paranoid

    They describe Plausible Deniability here:

    VeraCrypt - Free Open source disk encryption with strong security for the Paranoid
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  3. Posts : 388
    Windows 10
       #3

    I used BitLocker to encrypt UFDs for some time, until I encountered problems trying to unblock a UFD (the window to enter the password didnīt appear, further actions lead to freezes).

    Now I use virtual disks encrypted with BitLocker. I havenīt found any problems yet. An advantage or this method is that it permits to encrypt only part of the UFD. For me itīs not important if someone looking at the drive knows that itīs encrypted.

    I havenīt used VeraCrypt to encrypt UFDs, but have used containers (volumes) encrypted with it for years. Not one single problem after thousands of mount and unmount operations, copies to other drives to backup the containers, etc.
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  4. Posts : 48
    Win 10 PRO x64
    Thread Starter
       #4

    @hsehestedt

    Thanks for your response. I may not have worded my requirements very well. My need is basic at this stage and is around the scenario where should I lose my USB flash drive, then I want to be confident in the knowledge that an average person finding the flash drive will not be able to readily access the data on the drive. I'm not worried if they choose to format the drive and use it for their purposes. In that case, would Bitlocker do the job.?
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  5. hsehestedt's Avatar
    Posts : 2,353
    Windows 10 Pro, 20H2
       #5

    Absolutely. That's the whole idea of BitLocker. What good would encryption software be if it didn't protect your data?

    The nice thing about a BitLocker encrypted disk is you can take it to any other Windows 10 system and access it by simply supplying your password. No other software needed.

    No password, no access.

    If you have any other questions let me know. I've been using it pretty extensively.
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  6. Posts : 48
    Win 10 PRO x64
    Thread Starter
       #6

    Fantastic! Sounds like I'm starting off on the right track.

    - - - Updated - - -

    @ Anibor

    Thanks also for your input Anibor - I'll proceed with caution and hopefully not run into those issues you experienced. Also for the tips on those more sophisticated methods you use. This is a learning curve for me.
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