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Free encryption tool helps secure your files

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Replacing a lost or stolen laptop might be the least of your worries if you consider the potentially sensitive data that resides on it.

That’s why encrypting your private files or folders, which involves adding password protection, is a recommended safeguard. Most programs require the user to manually add encryption after the file has been created or updated.

TrueCrypt offers a free solution that works in “real time,” meaning that data is automatically encrypted or decrypted right before files are loaded or saved -- without any user intervention.

Available for Windows and Mac, TrueCrypt has users first download and install the small 2.85MB program, and upon setup, select which volume (e.g., drive C:) to encrypt. Finally, you must type in a password required to access the files or folders. That’s it.

Even data that’s dragged and dropped onto the volume is automatically encrypted for your safety and convenience, plus users can also use this clever tool to protect files on an external drive, such as a USB flash drive. Only by typing in the correct password can the files be accessed.

TrueCrypt uses encryption algorithms AES-256, Blowfish (448-bit key), CAST5, Serpent, Triple DES and Twofish. It is based on Encryption for the Masses (E4M) 2.02a.

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