Encrypt Your Data With TrueCrypt

Data theft should be a top concern for computer users. One way to protect your personal and sensitive information is encryption, the process of encoding information in such a way that only the person with the key can decode it.

In this tutorial, I will provide step-by-step instructions on how to encrypt and decrypt your data using TrueCrypt.


Before we start, you should have installed the latest stable version of TrueCrypt on your system. For this tutorial, I am running Windows XP; the same steps can be applied for Mac OS X and Linux users as well.

TrueCrypt main window

TrueCrypt main window.

Download TrueCrypt

Create a TrueCrypt file container

To encrypt your files, you first need to create a file container. Think of it as a typical “suitcase”, with a lock key.

  1. Click the Create Volume button to open the TrueCrypt Volume Creation Wizard.
  2. Make sure Create a file container is selected, click Next.
  3. Select Standard TrueCrypt volume as a volume type and click Next.
  4. Click Select File, specify the location and choose a file name for the container, and then click Save.
  5. Click Next to move on to the Encryption Options.
  6. Select AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) as an Encryption Algorithm and click Next.
  7. Enter the size of the container (in MB) you would like to create and click Next.
  8. Enter a password (this is the “key” to open your “suitcase”) for your container and click Next.
  9. Click Format to create your new file container.
  10. Click OK once your TrueCrypt volume has been successfully created.
  11. Click Exit to close the TrueCrypt Volume Creation Wizard.

Use TrueCrypt to store your files in the file container

Once you have successfully created a new TrueCrypt file container, you can start moving your files into the “suitcase”.
  1. Select any drive letter for the file container to be mounted.
  2. Click Select File, browse to the location of your file container, select it, and click Open.
  3. Click Mount to open the file container.
  4. Enter the password (your “suitcase key”) you created in the password input box, and click OK.
  5. If the password is entered correctly, the file container will be mounted as a virtual disk, under the drive letter you specified in step 1.
  6. You can copy files to and from the virtual disk as you would copy them to any normal disk.
  7. Once you have done copying your files to the virtual disk, simply close it by clicking the Dismount button in the TrueCrypt main window.
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