5 Dec 2009

Get TrueCrypt

Well, in my line of work (classified), I need to store data away from the possibility of prying eyes. I mean, if my computer was hacked into, or my laptop stolen such information must never come into the public domain for the clients I deal with.

I used to use PGP. I had to pay for licenses to upgrade. Then I realised that I needed whole disk or volume encryption. PGP wanted to squeeze my stones for £119!! So ah say "Nah! I doh like dee feel o’ dat!". I get onto Google – one of my favourite toys - and within seconds I find TrueCrypt - which is free open source stuff. Immediately I'm like sceptical, thinking dat, "Dis t’ing bong to be full ah bugs". So I hesitatingly and cautiously tried it. Surprise!! Dis thing does what it says on the tin – and exceeded all my expectations.

For those out dey who t’inking, “Boy me eh know bout dem t’ing nah.. I fraid…an’ in any case, me eh have time”- doh worry wid dis. But eef like me yuh know how to read, understand what yuh read, can follow a few instructions and can click a mouse, you can try out dis t’ing. Big warning here – if you decide to install this software, try it’s encryption on an external drive (eg. USB stick or external USB hard drive) and keep a back up of your data just in case. Start off by encrypting a file created by TrueCrypt – which it will then use as a drive. Yeah that sounds weird but that is the easiest and safest way of trying it out. Do not try this stuff on your main hard drive unless you’re absolutely sure your data and operating system are backed up properly elsewhere.

For those who get further. There are some really fancy features.The one I like the most, is the ability to create two encrypted volumes within one space – each with its own password. So this is useful if you dong on Dongkey Rock and you get hands-up and told to decrypt some confidential data. You open the volume with the non-critical data, leaving the second encrypted volume totally invisible and undetectable!! They explain it in their diagram here (click on diagram to go to TrueCrypt for full explanation):

hidden-volume[1]

For those who become au fait with this software, you can do some amazing things i.e. create two encrypted operating systems (OS) on the same hard-drive, on the same partition, and on the same volume!! One OS is the dummy set up which you show when you get hands-up, the other is the one you normally use. Amazingly anyone trying to hack the hard drive will be unable to see any evidence of two operating systems. Even from the dummy OS the other OS is not visible at all!!

Well I was so impressed with this software that I made a donation of USD $10.00 to the developers!!

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