Sunday, March 6, 2011


TrueCrypt is a program that is used in order to provide secure encryption for files, however, it's a lot more secure than just that! TrueCrypt stores the encrypted files within a single larger file, with the size not proportional to the file(s) inside it (except that the encryption file must be larger). Without knowing the key, it's nearly impossible to crack the file. The best part? You can have several "partitions" inside the encryption file, each containing a separate directory of files. So, if someone discovers one key, they still don't have access to all your hidden files! Alright, so here's how to use it:
TrueCrypt lets you create encrypted volumes

Step 1: Download and Install

1. You can download TrueCrypt from here.
2. Just run the installer and it should install the program easily.

Step 2: Creating an Encrypted Volume

How to use TrueCrypt to encrypt a file. I show how to use some of the cool features TrueCrypt has to offer.

1. Click "Create Volume"
2. Select "Create an encrypted file container".
3. You have two options here. The first is a simple, single partition container with one key. The second options is like having two containers in one; if someone find the key for one, they still can't get in the other. In this case, I'm going to select the second option since it is more secure.
4. Choose where to place the file that is going to be created.
5. Next, choose your cipher and hash alogrithm. You have several to select from, although I usually stick with AES256. It is HIGHLY unlikely that any of the ciphers shown can be beaten (brute force is very improbably, and although cipher faults are unlikely, they are still a danger).
6. Choose how large you want the container file  to be. The minimum size is 340 KB, although I usually use 50 MB since it is large enough to carry many files, but won't give too much information away based on file size. If you can afford it and need more security, make it a larger file.
7. Select the key. Here, you can set your password. However, another cool feature is the idea of key files. Key files are simply a file or series of files of your choosing that can act as a password. However, if you lose the key file, kiss the contents of the TrueCrypt container goodbye. I'd say stick with a password unless you are a) Paranoid or b) Really really into security at all costs.
8. Move your mouse around! This creates system entropy, or randomness, that will strengthen your new volume. Now, your container, or outer volume is finished. If you selected to have a hidden volume, there are a few more steps.
9. Select the cipher and hash algorithm again.
10. Choose the size of the hidden volume. It can't be larger than the outer volume, and it needs a little wiggle room. TrueCrypt will tell you the maximum size. 
11. Choose another key. Make sure this one is different than the one used for the outer volume.
12. Select the volume type. Since the file is going to be mounted like a disk, you need to give it a partition type. FAT would work best, since Windows likes FAT volumes. A FAT volume or any of the ext* volumes will work for Linux.
13. Create more entropy! This will be used in making the inner volume. After this, the volume should be all set and ready to go.

Step 3: Adding Files and Accessing Your Encrypted Volume

1. Select the volume you wish to decrypt, and press "Mount"
2. Enter the key you made the file with. If you want to access the hidden volume, you will need to give a different password than if you want to access the outer volume. 
3. Double click on the mounted volume, and you can treat it just like a USB drive! Drag and drop files that you want to hide into it. When you're done, just go back to TrueCrypt and press "Dismount" to encrypt everything. Thats it!

Enjoy the peace of mind knowing your files are safe!


  1. I love Truecrypt. I have a 2 TB external HD entirely encrypted as well as a smaller encryption on my laptop disk that's hidden as an image file. It really is a great tool. And it protects from unreasonable search and seizure, which when I was a college student traveling, was always important to me.

  2. Ive needed something like this for awhile actually. thank you.

  3. I've encrypted files before, but I never knew how to access them again. Thanks!

  4. Hmm. I do have some valuable info that I've been thinking of encrypting. Might check this out, always been too afraid of encryption programs before haha

  5. What sort of things would you have to need to encrypt a file?
    Either way, I'd better get on it.
    I ran into truecrypt before and didn't know how to use it so thanks.

  6. Might have a use for this, thanks!

  7. R1E4H3: You could encrypt anything with sensitive information. Say you keep your budget on an excel file. Since you wouln't want this falling into the wrong hands, you could encrypt it so that even if someone stole your computer, your information would still be safe.

  8. Read about it once or twice but didn't know it was this secure!

  9. I use this all the time. Nice when you want to keep "personal" folder hidden from the rest of the family.

  10. Truecrpyt is great!

    I've used it in the past, and it always worked like a charm!

  11. Yeah, truecrypt is the real deal.
    I read about quantum computing the other day and as it turns out - the current strength of Truecrypt keys can and will be beaten by next gen computers but Truecrypt beats this easily - developers just have to increase the length of the encryption keys and you're good to go. :)


Please leave a comment