Lock and encode your flash drives with BitLocker To Go encryption in Windows 8

How Windows 8 Professional and Enterprise users should encrypt their external drives—for free.

By Marco Chiappetta, PC World |  Security, BitLocker to Go, encryption

After choosing the encryption method, click Next, and youll be asked if youre ready to encrypt the drive. If youre sure you want to enable BitLocker To Go, just click the Start encrypting button, and the drive will be encrypted. Again, the process may take some time to complete depending on the speed of the drive and the processor in the system. When the encryption process is complete, click Close, and your drive will be protected and ready to use.

Accessing your encrypted drive on the go

When you attach your encrypted drive to a system that supports BitLocker, youll be prompted to enter the password before the drive will be accessible. If the correct password is not entered, the drive will appear with a gold padlock over its icon, and youll get a "Location not available/Access is denied" error should you try to open it. Enter the correct password, however, and the icon changes to an open padlock; the drive can now be used like any other unprotected drive. The only difference is that data copied to the drive will be encrypted on the fly. If you connnect your encrypted drive to a PC that does not support BitLocker To Go (one running Windows XP/Vista or Mac OS X, for example), it will not be able to read your drive and will probably prompt you to format the device. If you want to access a drive encrypted via BitLocker To Go on a Windows XP or Vista machine you'll need the BitLocker To Go Reader, a program that allows you to open and view the content of removable drives that have been protected (or encrypted) with BitLocker encryption.

Should you miss the opportunity to enter the password when the drive is first inserted, you can also unlock the drive by right-clicking on it in File Explorer and selecting Unlock Drive from the menu.

Once the drive is unlocked, you can also access a few additional features offered with BitLocker To Go. Right-click the drive and choose Manage BitLocker from the menu (or search for the BitLocker Drive Encryption utility from the Windows 8 UI as described earlier), and youll be able to change the password, add a smart card, enable auto-unlock, or turn off BitLocker entirely, if you so choose.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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