VeraCrypt permits an individual to create an encrypted volume that may be mounted and utilized. A hidden volume can also be created if deemed necessary. Moreover, VeraCrypt has the ability to encrypt a partition/device such as a USB flash drive or hard drive.
Notably, VeraCrypt is utilized for on-the-fly encryption (OFTE). Significantly, VeraCrypt is a fork of TrueCrypt. Unlike TrueCrypt, VeraCrypt is still under active development.
Using VeraCrypt To Encrypt A USB Flash Drive
In this tutorial, we demonstrate the easiest way to encrypt an entire USB flash drive using VeraCrypt.
1. Before encrypting a USB flash drive, you should download the latest version of VeraCrypt. After downloading VeraCrypt, you should install and run the application. To proceed, click “Create Volume” from the menu bar (“Volumes”) or the main screen.
2. Ensure that “Encrypt a non-system partition/drive” is selected and click “Next.”
3. Ensure that “Standard VeraCrypt volume” is selected. Proceed by clicking “Next.”
4. Click “Select Device…” and select the drive letter of your USB flash drive that you wish to encrypt with VeraCrypt. Click “OK” in the “Select a Partition or Device” window.
5. Select “Create encrypted volume and format it.” If your USB flash drive is empty or you wish to delete any data currently stored on the device, select the first option. In the event that you wish to retain any data on the drive, select the second option: “Encrypt partition in place.” Click “Next.” For this tutorial, we will select the first option.
6. Select an encryption algorithm and a hash algorithm. You may just select the default settings of AES and SHA-512 if you are not sure what you pick. Click “Next.”
7. You should verify that the size of the selected USB flash drive shown within the “VeraCrypt Volume Creation Wizard” window is correct and click “Next.”
8. Choose an exceptionally strong password. This is a significant step since a short and easy to guess password is susceptible to successful brute-force attacks. It is crucial to follow the password advice provided by the VeraCrypt developers within the VeraCrypt Volume Creation Wizard. Ensure that the password is new and has never been used before. Note that the maximum password length is 128. You may utilize keyfiles if you want. Depending on the circumstances, a digital forensics professional may be able to decrypt a VeraCrypt volume image. Click “Next.”
9. Determine whether you will store files larger than 4 GB in the VeraCrypt volume. If so, select “Yes.”
10. You may choose the file system for the USB drive. In this tutorial, we selected NTFS. Alternatively, you can choose exFAT if you want to store files larger than 4 GB on the USB drive. exFAT also permits significantly larger partition sizes than FAT32. You should move your mouse pointer randomly within the “VeraCrypt Volume Creation Wizard” window for at least 30 seconds. After the bar has turned green and that it has reached the end of the far right of the screen, click “Format” to encrypt your USB flash drive.
11. The confirmation message “The VeraCrypt volume has been successfully created” should appear. Click “OK.” Furthermore, click “Exit” within the “VeraCrypt Volume Creation Wizard” window.
How to Mount & Use A VeraCrypt Volume
1. Whenever you want to use the newly encrypted USB flash drive, insert the device into the computer and start the VeraCrypt application. Choose a drive letter from the list on the main screen of VeraCrypt. To proceed, click “Select Device…” from the main screen or the menu bar (“Volumes”), select the partition/device, and click “OK.”
2. To mount the encrypted volume, click “Mount” within the VeraCrypt main screen. You will be asked to enter the password you provided earlier. After entering the password, click “OK.”
3. Wait patiently as the mounting process could take some time. When the volume has been mounted successfully, you may open it by double-clicking on the volume name from the main screen of VeraCrypt.