questionswhat is the best way to secure a usb thumb drive?

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I use TrueCrypt for this purpose. It's available for free at http://www.truecrypt.org/. It's free and open source software.

There are some USB drives that have security built-in but you need to be careful when using them. Some have a simple front-end that can be easily cracked by a simple hardware bypass technique. Others actually encrypt.

I like using open source because the community has reviewed it and confirmed it doesn't contain any back door entries to it. PGP used to be pretty good until it became closed and now I don't trust it.

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I second the recommendation for TrueCrypt.

Also, you can use the same TC-encrypted volume to move files between Windows, MacOS, and Linux.

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Best way to use a "secure" thumb drive is probably not to use one. JMHO, but for these types of records it seems you would be better off with a true external hard drive onto which you can install the security program of your choice.

On the other hand, the suggested TrueCrypt software does have some seriously good reviews going for it.

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@cengland0 said it. TrueCrypt. Encrypt the entire volume and you are good to go. Use a strong password too.