Private Disk Encryption Software
If you use a flash USB drive to transfer documents and information, a problem arises if that little drive gets lost or stolen. Now you have confidential personal and customer data in someone else's hands. I have an encryption product that protects all of the sensitive data on the drive. You can encrypt the entire drive or you can protect a portion of it so you can easily (and without worry) move sensitive and non-sensitive data.
The encryption process includes password protection and uses 256 bit AES encryption (NIST-certified AES 256-bit encryption).
The only downside to using this product: if you lose the password, you lose the data - it's that unbreakable.
Licensing is simple, you install the base product on your computer. You can then use it on as many drives as you own - you can even use it to protect burned CDs and DVDs.
It is very portable, it does not need to be installed on the machine on which you are using the drive or disk - once it is installed on the portable disk it can be used on any Windows 98, ME, 2000 and XP computer.
The icing on the cake, it is inexpensive - $45 for each software license.
Here's how it works:
When you plug your USB flash drive into any Windows XP (service pack 2) machine, a Windows Autoplay box appears asking what action you want to perform with the drive. The first option is to access the protected area. With that selected, you simply click the OK button and a password prompt appears. Enter your password and assign a temporary drive letter (e.g. Z:) and the encrypted area of the drive becomes immediately accessible through My Computer or Windows Explorer.
Of course, the encrypted drive is fully usable with Windows 98, ME and 2000 with just a few additional steps required.
Private Disk Software screenshots:
Microsoft Windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP; 133 MHz Pentium-compatible CPU; 10 MB of free hard disk space; 32 MB of memory
* Please note that although the software supports Windows NT, Windows NT does not support USB.
Frequently asked questions:
I've lost my password, what do I do now?
Because there is no "backdoor", the data contained in your encrypted area is lost without the password. Hopefully you have it backed up! The drive is not lost, though. Remove the encrypted area, create a new one and you'll start from scratch.
Does the whole drive need to be protected?
Not at all. Set up as large a protected area as you'll need. Set up multiple protected areas. I have a protected area on my drive and leave half unprotected. My sensitive date goes into the protected area and non-sensitive data goes onto the flash drive as usual.
Can I store encrypted volumes on recordable CD disks, CD-RW disks or USB flash disks?
Yes, you can. Create the container file on your hard drive, and burn it onto the CD or write it on the USB flash.
Where does Private Disk store its temporary files?
Private Disk is an on the fly encryption application. This means that there are no temporary files anywhere on your hard disk.
Moreover, Private Disk does not use the paging file, hence your data is not left anywhere in the computer memory, even after a memory-dump, or if you close your programs in a hurry.
How long my password should be to ensure better protection?
You need to keep in mind that all protection is kept by your password. So these are the suggestions for good passwords: it should be not shorter than 8 characters; it should be random, without any meaning; make your password Case sensitive; use special characters like these _,&,~,(,< in your password. Here are the examples of quite good passwords: "k8Wsp1pf", "o2)_9c.W", "this is_my big*password".
|The results of Brute Force attack calculations
using Pentium 4, 1.6 GHz, 512 cache:
|Password length||Time to break if your password contains only small English letters (26 characters)||Time to break if your password contains small and big English letters digits and space (63 characters)|
|5 symbols||1 hour 15 min||6 days|
|6 symbols||1 day 20 hours||1 year|
|7 symbols||46 days||68 years|
|8 symbols||3.3 years||4032 years|
|9 symbols||90 years||252000 years|
|10 symbols||2304 years|
|16 symbols||1872000 years|