How to Encrypt Sensitive Data on Flash Drive

Do you ever worry what would happen if your files fell into the wrong hands, especially those files that you kept on your external flash drive? Thankfully there are many options to encrypt sensitive data. Protectorion ToGo is one such application. While the free version is meant for private use only, it does allow you to encrypt up to two external devices. An added bonus is that the application is compatible with Windows XP/Vista/7/8 (32bit + 64bit).

1. Download Protectorion ToGo.. Copy the ProtectorionToGo_EN.exe file from the download destination and paste it to the external drive.

encrypt sensitive data with Protectorion-To-Go

2. Double click the file to launch the application. Accept the User License Agreement to continue.

Protectorion-To-Go-End-User-License-Agreement

3. Enter in a password and password hint. The password you type in is given a security rating classification. It is advisable that the password you choose be given a High to Excellent score. Select “Start Protectorion”.

Protectorion-To-Go-Type-In-Password

1. The main interface for Protectorion ToGo opens. A dialog box also pops up stating that there currently is no data in the safe. Click OK to continue.

Protectorion-To-Go-Main-Interface-Does-Not-Contain-Data

2. Select the New Folder icon.

Protectorion-To-Go-New-Folder

3. Enter in a name for the New Folder. For example – Projects.

Protectorion-To-Go-New-Folder-Projects

4. In Windows Explorer, navigate to the files you want to encrypt on the external drive and highlight them. Right click and select Copy from the drop down list or press “Ctrl + C”.

Protectorion-To-Go-Copy-Files-for-Safe

5. Return to the Protectorion ToGo interface, while in the new folder, right click the right hand pane and select “Paste”.

Protectorion-To-Go-Paste-Files-into-Projects-Safe

6. While processing, a pop up box appears asking if you want to erase the source data after the import is done. If you only want to have the documents available encrypted on the external drive then click Yes. If you prefer to leave the source data on the system, click No. For our example, we are opting to have our source data erased from the system and copied back at a later date, so Yes is chosen.

Protectorion-To-Go-Erase-Source-Data

7. The copied files should then be listed under the Projects folder and have an “encryption” icon next to them.

Protectorion-To-Go-Files-successfully-copied-into-safe

8. Although the files may be shown in the Protectorion folder of the external drive, you cannot access them without using the application as they appear in an unreadable encrypted format.

Protectorion-To-Go-Unreadable-Encrypted-Files-in-Windows-Explorer

1. To open an encrypted file, in the Protectorion interface, simply right click the relevant file and select “Open”.

Protectorion-To-Go-Open-Encrypted-File

2. The file will open.

Protectorion-To-Go-Open-Encrypted-Pdf-File

1. To delete an encrypted file, right click the relevant file and select “Delete”.

Protectorion-To-Go-Delete-Encrypted-File

2. A pop up box asks if you are sure you want to delete the file. Select “OK”.

Protectorion-To-Go-Confirm-File-Deletion

3. The file will then be transferred to the Wastebin in an encrypted format. To permanently delete all files from the Wastebin, right click the Wastebin and select “Empty Wastebin”.

Protectorion-To-Go-Empty-Wastebin

1. Navigate back to the external drive and launch ProtectorionToGo_EN.exe. The Protectorion Encryption Suite dialog box opens requesting you to enter your master password. Type it in and press Open safe.

Protectorion-To-Go-Erase-Enter-in-password

2. Highlight all the files you want to export and select the “Export” icon.

Protectorion-To-Go-Unencrypted-Export-files

3. Navigate to the folder you want the files expored to. Click Select Folder.

Protectorion-To-Go-Unencrypted-Export-Select-Folder

4. The file are exported to the destination you selected.

An additional feature in Protectorion ToGo provides users with the ability to save passwords for multiple accounts. For example, to save the login and password information for a website perform the following:

1. Select Password Safe in the main interface.

Protectorion-To-Go-Password-Safe

2. Select New Password from the Password Safe dialog box.

Protectorion-To-Go-Password-Safe-New

3. Fill in password details for a particular website as shown in the example below and click Save.

Protectorion-To-Go-Fill-In-Password-Details-Save

4. You can also backup your passwords either through encrypted export  or unencrypted export (as text file).  Both are available from the drop down list through Password. Your choice here will depend on if you want to be able to access the backup another way than Protectorion ToGo.

Protectorion-To-Go-Password-Export-Options-Encrypted-Or-Not

5. For our example we select Backup (*.encpw) which is encrypted export and save the file on our PC.

Protectorion-To-Go-Encrypted-Backup-Password-Safe

6. To recover the backup, select Password – Restore backup in Password Safe.

Protectorion-To-Go-Restore-Backup

7. Navigate to the backup file and select it.

Protectorion-To-Go-Restore-Backup-Select-File

8. The passwords are then recovered.

The free version of Protectorion is limited, as you can only encrypt two external drives and it is for personal use only. If you want to encrypt more than two external drives or utilize the program for business purposes, then you are required to purchase the application. However, it is a relatively straight forward and easy to use program for users who wish to encrypt sensitive data and keep it safe from prying eyes.

Protectorion ToGo.

Image credit: Secure Cloud Computing