protecting external hard drive

Discussion in 'Security' started by rh71, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. rh71

    rh71 No Lifer

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    Got a 3TB Seagate external HDD last month and put over 1TB on it already and only now thought about protecting the data in case of theft. What's my best option at this point? Do I use something like Truecrypt and it will take quite a bit of time encrypting what's already on there? I think that was my experience a few years ago when I first tried it, haven't since. Are there other options like passwording it and it protects the entire contents? I need something that will protect it from simple google searches for hacking a protected hdd. At the same time it needs to be easily accessed once in a while - I'm guessing it just asks for a password everytime it's plugged in? Any other [simple] software recommendations welcome.
     
  2. MustISO

    MustISO Lifer

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    If you really want the data protected, encryption is really the best way to keep someone from accessing the contents.
     
  3. Chiefcrowe

    Chiefcrowe Diamond Member

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    Yes, encryption of the drive is the best solution. You could also look into a drive that has built in hardware encryption so you wouldn't have to do anything, it would be encrypted from the start.
     
  4. VirtualLarry

    VirtualLarry Lifer

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    Yep, TrueCrypt. It's free.
     
  5. rh71

    rh71 No Lifer

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    ugh, truecrypt is saying it will run 2 days to encrypt my drive. I'm not sure if that means it's doing the entire 3TB or just the actual data I have on there (something over 1TB).

    - I thought I read on their site that it doesn't encrypt existing files but creates a volume which is encrypted and I move files over? What is it actually doing?

    - Is it bad for an external hard drive to run constantly for 2 days doing this encryption? There's no way to access the data on it until this is done. Other option is to format the whole thing and start over I think.
     
    #5 rh71, Jan 4, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  6. imported_paulc871

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    Just use truecrypt. i love it.
     
  7. Binky

    Binky Diamond Member

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    Truecrypt or FreeOTFE.

    FreeOTFE has a viewer that doesn't require admin rights. You can leave this on a small unencrypted partition and you can run it from any computer.
     
  8. ch33zw1z

    ch33zw1z Lifer

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    Read more. TrueCrypt is encrypting the partition based on your description. Let it finish, don't forget your password. No, it won't hurt your drive unless the drive is already starting to fail...

    Please...read the TC documentation prior to beginning the process in the future. TC offers many ways to protect your data:

    1. Encrypted File
    2. Partition Encryption
    3. Whole Disk Encryption
    4. Whole Disk with Hidden partition (my personal fav)
     
  9. imagoon

    imagoon Diamond Member

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    If you selected the entire drive, it won't matter if there is 1 TB or 5KB of data, the entire drive including freespace is encrypted.
     
  10. TJCS

    TJCS Senior member

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    Here is the winning formula:
    privacy(truecrypt + external hdd)/security=win.

    Auto-start Truecrypt at Windows Logon(or Windows Hotkey) + Truecrypt Auto-mount favorite volumes = easy to use.

    If you have a small USB drive, you can easily simulate the above and see if truecrypt works for you.
     
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