Support: How To Password Protect A USB Drive
FAQ: How can I protect the data on a USB stick?
Support Tutorial Level – Basic
Misplacing or losing a USB memory stick isn’t the end of the world, but if there is personal or sensitive information on the drive then that can obviously be a real concern.
On this support tutorial I will explain how to password protect a USB stick. This means that if you do lose the stick, then any sensitive information will be encrypted and non-accessible without the correct password.
Better still – the software that I will highlight in this post is completely free and will work on any USB memory drive.
There are many options with regards to protecting data with encryption. One option is to password protect Office documents individually using Microsoft Office’s built-in security features. This isn’t always the most practical method and there is the risk of locking yourself out of the files completely.
So the scenario we will use is this: Let’s say you have an 8GB pen drive. The chances are that most of the files that you store on the drive are considered “non-secure”. Photos, music, etc. But wouldn’t it be a great idea to have, let’s say 3GB of that drive partitioned to store secure data. Office documents, bank details, business or sensitive personal information.
The software that we will use for this purpose is Rohos Mini Drive. This free software will create a secure partition on your USB stick that will require a password to launch. Once open you can drag and drop files back and forward as usual.But without the password it is completely non-accessible.
Rohos Mini Drive uses on-the-fly AES 256bit encryption. In other words it’s secure!
So let’s get started by inserting a USB stick into your computer now. (make sure there is free space to make the encrypted partition. Back up your stick 1st for peace of mind)
1. Download Rohos Mini Drive software from this link (link opens in a new window)
2. Run the downloaded program – it will detect that you have a USB stick inserted. Click on “Encrypt USB Drive”. This may take a couple of minutes to complete.
3. Once the encryption process has completed, the partition will show up as a new drive (usually assigned letter R in your Computer directory). Drag and drop files into the Documents folder.
4. When you go to use this pen drive on another computer – run the Rohos mini.exe file and it will prompt you for a password.
Note: Remember that only the encrypted part of the drive is secure if you lose it. So always save sensitive information to that section of the stick.
Done – your data is now safe on the move. (Below are picture step by step instructions 1 – 4)