As technology gets more advanced, so does digital security. There are many ways to protect your information, and encryption is one of the most efficient. For those not familiar, that refers to the process of making it so only authorized users can access your data. However, not all encryption software is created equally.
While the average user may not need encryption for their flash drive, if you use it to store sensitive or personal information you’re going to want an extra layer of protection. That is where all of the following programs come in. If you need more security for your sensitive files, you won’t get better results anywhere else.
Kicking off our list, USB Safeguard is a solid program that can be used to encrypt your drives. This utilizes an AES-256 algorithm to encrypt files, folders, and other sensitive information you want to keep safe from prying eyes. In addition, it has a fairly simple user interface as well. If you don’t want something that’s bogged down with too many features, this is the way to go.
Many users enjoy Safeguard because it gives you the option to create virtual containers as a means of protection. It also immediately locks your device when it gets unplugged from your system. That kicks in even when you’re inactive for an extended period of time. As a final bonus, this software is also free for the first 2GB but you’ll need to pay for more storage after that.
Few flash drive encryption programs provide you with the options that EncryptStick does. This software not only gives you the ability to encrypt your flash drive, it also enables you to create virtual vaults and create password protected folders. The inter-operability features provide you with some of the best flash drive security on the market and the software supports up to 1024-bit AES encryption.
As with so many other premium programs, EncryptStick is also easy to navigate and use. The interface is simple, allowing any users to quickly copy-and-paste or drag-and-drop any of their information to wherever they need it to go. You can seamlessly pick and choose the options you want. Beyond that, the software also asks you to enter a password whenever you switch windows. If there are ten wrong attempts, the software locks.
Unlike many flash drive encryption software options out there, DriveCrypt enables you to selectively encrypt files as you see fit. It does that by disguising your information as music files or fake disks. As an added bonus, it uses no keywords or has any tells that would tip anyone off that the icons are hiding information.
To back that up, the software also has a password sniffing protection feature to stop any would-be hackers or viruses from gaining access to your password. This software also has the invisible container, which refers to letting you set up two different passwords so you can share some of your information with people you trust and hide the rest. In that way, you can lend your flash drive to other people and not worry about them gaining access to your secret files.
Users who prefer open source applications will love AxCrypt. This encryption software is completely free, fully open source, and GNU GPL-licensed. In that way, it provides an affordable program that is efficient, intuitive, and easy to learn. Rather than fussing with a tough interface, this enables you to quickly encrypt your flash drive simply by right-clicking your mouse and choosing it from the drop down list.
This also comes with timed execution. That means you can lock a file for a certain period of time before having it unlock automatically. If you’re someone who wants to access encrypted files in different places, this software also has apps for both iOS and Android. However, those do come at a small cost. The AES-128 may not be the best encryption around, but it’s still extremely tight and will prevent attacks on your information.
If features are what you’re after, Rohos Disk Encryption is the software for you. As with all of the other programs on this list, Rohos offers premium security for your sensitive information. It does that through encrypted volumes. When you plug in your flash drive, the software determines the best possible size of the volume to be created on it. You can also choose a specific size and you can set the volume’s location if you so wish.
Another reason this works so well is that you can encrypt installed programs and custom folders on your computer so they can only be accessed when your flash drive is plugged in. That extra versatility is nice to have and gives you a layer of security most other programs lack. If that’s not enough, this helps you hide encrypted disks in media container files as well.
When it comes to protecting your data, you can never be too careful. Though it’s easy to assume that your flash drive is safe, there’s nothing wrong with taking some extra steps should it fall into the wrong hands. There are many encryption options on the current market, but if you’re dead set on keeping your files protected, the above software options all go above and beyond. Whichever you decide to go pick, you (and your information) will stay safe.
Do you use any of the software listed above? Are there any ones you think we missed? Let us know in the comments below!
Andreas is a freelance tech writer based in California. He works on a Mac in the office and lives with a PC and many old computer electronics at home. While he is not reading or writing, you’ll probably find him playing online games with friends.