If you have Windows 7 onwards running in your computer, you may follow the following article to secure your files and data. It is also all the more important now a days due exposure to internet and lots of malware lurking around. One of the best known technologies available for data security is encryption and with latest version of Windows OS, this feature is now built-in. You just need to enable it.
Windows 7 onwards can encrypt entire drives and removable devices with its built-in BitLocker encryption. BitLocker protects you against attacks made by disabling the operating system or by physically removing the storage drive. On a BitLocker-protected computer, data can only be read or written by providing the password that was set during setup process. Although it seems cumbersome to provide password everytime, but it is a small pain when compared to data safety.
How to enable Bitlocker
To enable, go to Control Panel->System & Security->Bitlocker Drive Encryption. Alternatively you can do a right click on drive to enable Bitlocker inside File Explorer. You may encrypt local drives, usb drives or any external media drives.
There are 2 options available while enabling Bitlocker encryption.
BitLocker Drive Encryption: This is a "full-disk encryption" feature and will encrypt the entire drive. During boot-up process, Windows will prompt you for your unlock password if the encrypted drive was a system drive. BitLocker will then decrypt the drive and load Windows. You won't see any difference in your computer working process, all the files will appear normally as would on an unencrypted system. You can encrypt any logical drive on your computer.
BitLocker To Go: To encrypt external drives, such as USB drives and external hard drives, BitLocker To Go is used. Whenever you connect an encrypted external drive to your PC and access its contents, Bitlocker will prompt you for the password. No one can access the contents of the drive unless password is entered to access them.
Choose your preferred unlock option and follow the instructions in the next screen to set it up.
Bitlocker will create an unlock recovery key which should be stored in a secure way. This is useful in case you forgot your main password.
As and when you add files to your drive, Bitlocker will automatically encrypt them. Whenever you try and access the files on an encrypted drive, you should enter the password once. This will remain active till the time you reboot the system or unplug the usb drive.
Important - please ensure your pc or laptop runs on uninterrupted power supply while the encryption process is going on to avoid corruption.
This article should help you in securing all important data. In case you need any assistance, do write to us using the contact section.