Secure encryption for removable hard drive?

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  1. Posts : 2
    Windows 10

    Secure encryption for removable hard drive?

    I'm considering keeping a USB hard drive with some file backups in my car. I'm already backing up my entire computer to a drive in my home office; the car copy would just be critical files as a kind of catastrophic protection (in case of fire, etc). Since there would be sensitive info on it, I would obviously need some good encryption software. Any recommendations? Would something like VeraCrypt do the job? Or is the idea crazy?

    v. 1903
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  2. Posts : 446
    Windows 10

    Yes, use VeraCrypt containers. I have used them for years, no problems.
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  3. Posts : 5,210
    21H1 64 Bit Home

    I just use this:

    Safehouse explorer

    Drop the executable on the flash drive and run it from there. It should work on any machine that your flash drive is plugged into.
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  4. Posts : 161
    Windows 10

    VeraCrypt. It's probably the most secure encryption software and it's open source. It's based on TrueCrypt which stopped development for unknown reasons. There's a lot of speculation surrounding the original TrueCrypt demise such as the original devs knowing it had been compromised, or that they themselves as part of the project were compromised. VeraCrypt came along building on the legacy TrueCrypt left. There was an audit performed a while ago which to the surprise of many found considerable amounts of vulnerabilities in VeraCrypt. Some of these were patched, some more complex ones were not.

    You'll never find a bulletproof solution but VeraCrypt is probably the closest to that in publicly available encryption software available. It all depends on your needs. If you're protecting state secrets you're best off talking to your superiors but if you're just looking for an easy and flexible way to store data in encrypted form on a storage medium like an removable drive then VeraCrypt is a good choice. Then again, so are many others where your needs are not extremely specific. Your average Joe hacker won't be able to defeat reputable encryption software, and most certainly will not defeat the algorithms used for encryption. Even the government can't crack the most favored algorithms (yet). This is all relative however to the length and strength of the password you use. A 20 character password that resembles unfathomable language you might see if you were tripping on psychedelics would literally at this point in time with current technology take millions of years to crack, yes, millions, that's not an exaggeration. Make it 30, 40 or 50 characters and with todays technology the planet would have likely been long since taken over by AI by then and it's unlikely backup images of your laptop several many million years from now are going to be the top of someones list. But a 5 character one, or something similiar can be cracked regardless of whether it's military grade encryption or software you can download for free off the web. Which makes it trivial to crack and therefore more tempting to do so by anyone who wants to give it a shot.

    Think about your needs, prepare a good strong password containing upper and lower case letters, numbers, symbols etc. Make it at least 20 characters long and you are good to go. No-one is guessing that password unless you get keylogged, or someone analyses memory before it is erased, or you're forced to hand it over or something similiar. Also for extra security you could completely wipe the drive with several runs of a good algorithm before encrypting it. This will sanitize it and ensure there are no leftovers. Some encryption software allows you to wipe data while also merging it with the newly encrypted partition so that no traces are found but your existing data gets transfered.
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  5. Posts : 2
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Looks like VeraCrypt should do the job...thanks, all.
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  6. Posts : 1,652
    Windows 10 Pro x64

    Another simpler alternative might be to use 7Zip instead - save to the .7z format and use AES256 encryption with a long & complex password.

    Secure encryption for removable hard drive?-capture.png
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  7. Posts : 7,137
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit

    Also consider Bitlocker
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  8. Posts : 1,244
    Windows 10 Pro x64 21H2 (Build: 19044.1415)

    if your files are such top secret, you should consider store them on a separate offline PC.
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  9. Posts : 4,475
    Windows 10 Pro x64, Various Linux Builds, Networking, Storage, Cybersecurity Specialty.

    Another suggestion -

    Low tech...

    Backup these sensitive files on a flash drive or other USB storage device and verify them.
    Place in a safe deposit box, if you have one, at your brick and mortar bank.

    No encryption required.
    No passwords/keys to remember or lose.


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  10. Posts : 446
    Windows 10

    Steve C said:
    Also consider Bitlocker
    Itīs not clear to me if this thread is about file encryption using containers, or partition/disk encryption. BitLocker is good for the latter, but for file encryption VeraCrypt is better. Using BitLocker, itīs possible to create encrypted virtual VHDX files, but VeraCrypt containers are easier to manage.
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