General Question

onaquest's avatar

Is there a way to password protect a USB memory stick?

Asked by onaquest (10points) October 8th, 2007

I don’t see anything in the security area on the memory stick with the exception of sharing – or not – with the network.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

5 Answers

artificialard's avatar

This answer assumes you are using Microsoft Windows as your operating system. If you’re using a Mac or otherwise please indicate so and I’ll have instructions for that as well.

The best way to protect the contents of portable storage such as a USB memory stick is to encrypt the contents of the volume. Encryption scrambles the data such that it cannot be decoded without the original locking software and password.

There isn’t any software bundled with the standard Windows installation that will do this easily so you will either want to buy a new memory stick with encryption features built-in or go and find encryption software to use with your existing stick.

Any of the big USB flash drive manufacturers offers a ‘secure’ version such as Sandisk where specific USB flash drives such as the Cruzer Titanium and the Micro include their re-branded CruzerLock software that makes encryption relatively easy.

If you’d like to secure your existing drive and it didn’t include any security software a good option would be TrueCrypt as it’s open-source which means it’s free. It also has very good documentation and continual work being put into it. A beginner’s guide is available that makes it easy.

Keep in mind that all these encryption methods basically create a large file on the USB drive that the encyption software then makes useable as another lettered drive. That means you will need to install the encryption software on any computer you need to use the secure files on. Due to that fact any computer not running Windows will likely not be able to use the files you’ve encrypted.

Many people load the encyption software installer onto the USB drive the normal way so it’s always accessible and then install the software that will allow access to the secure portion.

ezraglenn's avatar

i’m using a mac. I really want to know the answer to this question!

Response moderated
Response moderated
Response moderated (Spam)

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther