questionshow can i password protect my flash drive?

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I saw this the other day:http://deals.woot.com/deals/details/53c7c475-2399-48b9-8cf1-8fe03ed4ee89/usb-biometric-fingerprint-scanner-w-256mb-storage-pc-linux-mac#34
It's RIP, but seems like this sort of thing would be great for your needs, very Bond, James Bond.

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Try Truecrypt. It's free, easy to use and offers great encryption. See their FAQ for more info. http://www.truecrypt.org/faq

It's what I use for encrypting my master password list for the ridiculous number of passwords I have now.

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@pickypickypicky: as awesome as that is, it's impossible to buy. I tried to go to the deal, thinking the RIP just meant that the price had gone back to its original, or they might be out of stock, but they don't sell it anymore

@prosperouscheat: I'll definitely have to check that out, is it reliable? I have some trust issues ;-)

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Yes Truecrypt is a reliable program. It's free and Open Source. It will do exactly what you want it too.

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@captainsuperdawg: Yes, very reliable - they've been around for years and it's a very popular tool. The encryption they use is virtually impossible to break without the password (so don't forget it).

http://www.pcworld.com/article/221102/use_truecrypt_and_close_security_holes_with_open_source_encryption.html

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If I remember correctly, with TrueCrypt you can also use keyfiles in addition to passwords to protect your encrypted volumes. For example, you can have a bunch of random files on your flash drive and one of them, say just some kind of unremarkable word document, can be selected to be used as a keyfile. To decrypt the volume, you'd need to input the password as well as select the correct keyfile (in this case the word document). This can be useful if you want an additional layer of security.

I could be wrong though, as I only use passwords with my TrueCrypt volumes.

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ok, now i have another technologically stupid question:

If I use TrueCrypt to encrypt my flash drive, can I only use it on the computer where I have TrueCrypt installed? I know it's probably a stupid question, but when it comes to software and computers, I'm basically a giant idiot

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@captainsuperdawg: If you encrypted your entire flash drive (not sure if possible?) then I would assume that it would only work with machines that have TrueCrypt installed.

What I do is create an encrypted volume that is less than the maximum free space of the flash drive and then place that onto my flash drive. Then, what I do is go to Tools and Traveler Disk Setup to create a portable version of TrueCrypt that I also place on the flash drive. This way, I can just run the portable executable to decrypt the volume on any windows machine that doesn't have TrueCrypt installed.

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@oahceasgnikgneas: Nice, informative reply. I downloaded this program after reading this thread, but haven't tried it yet. I'm now loaded with information that I might not have found in the FAQ!

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Truecrypt will work on any machine as long as you have administrative rights to load the driver. If you do not have administrative access and Truecrypt is not already installed, you will not be able to access your data. You will generally only run into this on public access machines like Libraries, Schools, and some businesses. If you are just storing passwords, consider using Keepass Portable: http://portableapps.com/apps/utilities/keepass_portable
This is made specifically for what you are trying to do.

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It's easy. You only need to protect the document with a password.
In addition to TrueCrypt mentioned by others, you can use 7 zip, Winrar or Winzip, the compression programs allow you to set a password for the file.
But it's annoying that you must unzip it if you want to use the file and re-zip it after you view it. I've used Folder Protector. This software allows me to temporarily unprotect the files and then restore protection after I close the file.
You can find it here: http://www.kakasoft.com/folder-protect/password-protect-folder-on-windows-7.html