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21. Encrypt Portable Media With BitLocker To Go

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Bitlocker was first introduced with Windows Vista enabling users' of Vista Ultimate, Business and Enterprise to secure their data from prying eyes. Windows 7 has taken the Bitlocker theme one step further by enabling users' to actually encrypt portable USB thumb drives too.

  1. Plug in the USB Thumb drive or removable drive you wish to encrypt into a USB port on your machine.
  2. Click the Start button and type: Bitlocker into the search box.
  3. Click on the Bitlocker Drive Encryption link that appears at the top of the search box.
  4. The Bitlocker Encryption window will now open.
  5. Look down the list of drives for the thumb drive you wish to encrypt and Click on the Turn On Bitlocker option.
  6. Assuming your thumb drive or removable drive is compatible Bitlocker will now start to prepare your drive.
  7. During preparation you will have the option to either choose a password to unlock your drive or use a smart card.
  8. If you choose the Password option type in your password and then Click the Next button.
  9. If you opt for the Smart Card option, first select that option then Insert your Smart card. Once your Smart Card has been inserted you can Press the Next button.
  10. The next screen asks How do you want to store your recovery key. This is important because if you loose your key then you loose all access to you data.The best option is to use both, Save to file and print.
  11. Once you have saved the password file and also printed it out, Press the Next button.
  12. Your thumb drive/removable drive is now ready to be encrypted.To start the process off, Click the Start Encrypting button.
  13. Your drive will now start encrypting.
  14. The length of time this take will be dependant upon the size of the thumb/removable drive. Note You must Not remove your drive during this process.
  15. After encryption has been completed, Remove your drive and test it to ensure you have access to your files. You should also try accessing your encrypted data from another machine that has Bitlocker installed.