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-   -   The Best Way to "hide" your files/folders (http://www.go4expert.com/articles/hide-files-folders-t17738/)

SaswatPadhi 29May2009 14:17

The Best Way to "hide" your files/folders
 

Introduction



Before writing this article, I searched the forum for existence of similar articles and found none, so I thought to share this with you all. I have seen many software that offer various ways to hide your files, but none of them was as satisfactory for me as the one I'm about to mention. That's TrueCrypt.

Background



TrueCrypt is a wonderful software which offers "ON-THE-FLY" encryption. Best of all, it's FREE and open-source !

As TrueCrypt.org mentions, the main features of TrueCrypt are :
  • Creates a virtual encrypted disk within a file and mounts it as a real disk.
  • Encrypts an entire partition or storage device such as USB flash drive or hard drive.
  • Encrypts a partition or drive where Windows is installed.
  • Encryption is automatic, real-time (on-the-fly) and transparent.
  • Provides plausible deniability, in case an adversary forces you to reveal the password:
    Hidden volume (steganography) and hidden operating system.
  • Encryption algorithms: AES-256, Serpent, and Twofish. Mode of operation: XTS.
You can download it for free from : http://www.truecrypt.org/downloads

Using TrueCrypt to hide your files



Now, let me show you how you can hide your files with TrueCrypt.
[ I will tell how to create simple encrypted volumes here. I won't cover Hidden volume/Hidden OS creation. I may cover them in subsequent parts, or you may refer TrueCrypt manual ]

Download and install TrueCrypt 6.2. Open TrueCrypt.exe and then follow the steps below :

STEP 1 : Create a TrueCrypt Volume



http://www.go4expert.com/images/arti...pt/tcstep1.jpg
Step 1 : Create a new TrueCrypt Volume.
  • Open TrueCrypt.exe
  • Click "Create Volume".
http://www.go4expert.com/images/arti...t/tcstep11.jpg
Step 1.1 : Create encrypted file container.
  • Select the highlighted option
  • Click "Next".
http://www.go4expert.com/images/arti...t/tcstep12.jpg
Step 1.2 : Select volume type.
  • Select Standard Volume.
  • Click "Next".
http://www.go4expert.com/images/arti...t/tcstep13.jpg
Step 1.3 : Enter the location of volume.
  • Enter Path to any file which will act as a volume. ( Example shows "C:\Backup", file Extension is not necessary )
  • Click "Next".
http://www.go4expert.com/images/arti...t/tcstep14.jpg
Step 1.4 : Select Encryption Options.
  • I recomment leaving the encryption algorithm as AES because
    • AES is fastest among available options.
    • Although AES 256 is weakest among the available options, it is still very hard to crack.
  • Select any hash Algo.
  • Click "Next".
http://www.go4expert.com/images/arti...t/tcstep15.jpg
Step 1.5 : Select Volume size.
  • I have entered size as 6 GB, enter any size you want.
  • Click "Next".
http://www.go4expert.com/images/arti...t/tcstep16.jpg
Step 1.6 : Enter the password that will protect the volume.
Warning :
  • I recommend not to use keyfiles because if you loose them or if the content is changed slightly your whole volume will become useless.
  • If you loose your key then you are doomed ! No one can recover your volume.

http://www.go4expert.com/images/arti...t/tcstep17.jpg
Step 1.7 : Format !
  • Choose FAT or NTFS File system.
  • Move your mouse inside the window for about a minute.
  • Click Format.
http://www.go4expert.com/images/arti...t/tcstep18.jpg
Step 1.8 : Done !
  • After formating is done click OK
  • Then Click Exit

Now you have successfully created a TrueCrypt volume.

STEP 2 : Mounting the volume



You can use a truecrypt volume like any other disk. You can store files, delete them, defragment it, clean it etc.. But before gaining access to the disk, you must mount it like this :

http://www.go4expert.com/images/arti...pt/tcstep2.jpg
Step 2 : Mounting the volume.
  • Open TrueCrypt.exe
  • Click "Select File"
  • Select the file and click "Open"
http://www.go4expert.com/images/arti...t/tcstep21.jpg
Step 2.1 : Select the Drive Letter.

http://www.go4expert.com/images/arti...t/tcstep22.jpg
Step 2.2 : Password
  • Enter the correct password for your volume and it will be mounted successfully and will be shown in the Windows Explorer list

STEP 3 : Using the volume



Now that the volume is mounted, you can check it in My Computer :

http://www.go4expert.com/images/arti...ypt/mycomp.jpg

You can start using it right away. Put all your secret stuff into it. Copying into a TrueCrypt encrypted volume will be slower because files are encrypted in real-time.

STEP 4 : Dismounting the volume



When you are done using the volume, you should dismount it so that no-one else can gain access to the volume :

http://www.go4expert.com/images/arti...pt/tcstep4.jpg
Step 4 : Dismounting the volume
  • Simply select the drive letter ( here Z: ), and click Dismount.
  • To Dismount all mounted volumes, Click "Dismount All".

Advantages of TrueCrypt

  • Your data is safely hidden inside your volume.
  • Your volume is password protected !
  • Data is not just written, but is encrypted. So, if anyone opens your volume in a hex-editor or anything like that, he won't be able to make anything out of it.
  • There is no way to differentiate a TrueCrypt volume from an ordinary file. Any file say "Report.doc" can also be used as a TrueCrypt volume. People might doubt the exceptionally high file size though.
  • You can also create hidden volumes inside TrueCrypt volumes so that even if you are forced to reveal the password by someone, your files can still be protected inside hidden volume.
NEVER LOSE THE VOLUME PASSWORD / KEY-FILE, ELSE YOUR VOLUME WILL BE COMPLETELY USELESS.

Thanx all for reading this.

Bye and take care.

nimesh 30May2009 02:11

Re: The Best Way to "hide" your files/folders
 
Nice article.
I guess everyone might be in search of this software :) to protect their personal files

SaswatPadhi 30May2009 06:14

Re: The Best Way to "hide" your files/folders
 
Thanx, glad to know that you liked it :biggrin:

pradeep 1Jun2009 14:07

Re: The Best Way to "hide" your files/folders
 
Nice article!

SaswatPadhi 1Jun2009 14:15

Re: The Best Way to "hide" your files/folders
 
Thanx. :happy:

I just forgot to mention something :

You may use TrueCrypt in portable mode, so as to avoid any one suspecting you of using it.

shabbir 3Jun2009 09:26

Re: The Best Way to "hide" your files/folders
 
Nomination this Article for Article of the month - May 2009

Alex1239 5Jun2009 13:54

Re: The Best Way to "hide" your files/folders
 
Nice article.... thnks a lot...

harshit 10Jun2009 13:31

Re: The Best Way to "hide" your files/folders
 
great way....

thanx

SaswatPadhi 10Jun2009 13:36

Re: The Best Way to "hide" your files/folders
 
If you like it, please vote for it here : Article of the month - May 2009

saturn 10Jun2009 14:18

Re: The Best Way to "hide" your files/folders
 
Great article:)

gopalbangalore 10Jun2009 14:37

Need Help to concatenate two strings using 8085
 
Plz help me to write below program.

Write an ALP to concatenate two strings using 8085 instructions. The first string “Bangalore is a beautiful” starts at location 8000h and the second string “and pleasant city” starts at location 9000h.

SaswatPadhi 10Jun2009 17:58

Re: The Best Way to "hide" your files/folders
 
Watch where you are posting, before you post.


I request shabbir to move the above post to a new thread and then delete this post (my post).

n3tfire 11Jun2009 02:22

Re: The Best Way to "hide" your files/folders
 
Interesting tutorial thank you for posting I'm going to be doing this rite now.

asadullah.ansari 13Jun2009 12:07

Re: The Best Way to "hide" your files/folders
 
Today just now I used this software and that's fantastic
Really good article.

SaswatPadhi 13Jun2009 12:11

Re: The Best Way to "hide" your files/folders
 
Glad to know that you liked it. :)

mayjune 15Jun2009 14:45

Re: The Best Way to "hide" your files/folders
 
very nice....keep up....

SaswatPadhi 15Jun2009 17:36

Re: The Best Way to "hide" your files/folders
 
Thanx for the feedback. :)

Christle 16Jun2009 18:10

Re: The Best Way to "hide" your files/folders
 
i like this article.

shabbir 17Jun2009 18:56

Re: The Best Way to "hide" your files/folders
 
Vote for this article in Article of the month - May 2009

bariatricsurgery 19Jun2009 19:30

Re: The Best Way to "hide" your files/folders
 
Great information ! !
I think now i am easily hide my files and folder from my brother.
Thanks for share this information with us ! !

kidas 24Jun2009 14:42

Re: The Best Way to "hide" your files/folders
 
You folks may find this page interesting.

Comparison of disk encryption software

shabbir 28Jun2009 10:40

Re: The Best Way to "hide" your files/folders
 
Winner of Article of the month - May 2009

nimesh 28Jun2009 21:00

Re: The Best Way to "hide" your files/folders
 
Congrats Saswat

SaswatPadhi 28Jun2009 21:17

Re: The Best Way to "hide" your files/folders
 
Thanx nimesh :happy:

saturn 6Jul2009 21:49

Re: The Best Way to "hide" your files/folders
 
Congratulations!

SaswatPadhi 6Jul2009 23:05

Re: The Best Way to "hide" your files/folders
 
Thanx saturn ! :)

naimish 7Jul2009 07:22

Re: The Best Way to "hide" your files/folders
 
Congratulations SP :)

SaswatPadhi 7Jul2009 12:45

Re: The Best Way to "hide" your files/folders
 
Thanx naimish !! :)

Best of luck for this month's AOTM award.

naimish 7Jul2009 13:39

Re: The Best Way to "hide" your files/folders
 
Same to you buddy :)

c_user 26Aug2009 23:15

Re: The Best Way to "hide" your files/folders
 
really a nice article.......

satyedra pal 31May2010 15:53

Re: The Best Way to "hide" your files/folders
 
we can hide any folder/file by the folder option properties in control panel(Do not show hidden files and folders).
we can also hide folder by using any folder lock software which provides password facility .

Myfreelancepaul 17Jun2010 16:32

Re: The Best Way to "hide" your files/folders
 
Awesome article. Eager to try this to protect my Important files and folders.
Thanx a lot for sharing your knowledge with us...:)

keysrecover 30Jul2010 00:27

Re: The Best Way to "hide" your files/folders
 
Great tool to use
**** ytour all

johnny.dacu 30Jul2010 20:26

Re: The Best Way to "hide" your files/folders
 
What happens if you encrypt your windows?

shabbir 31Jul2010 09:12

Re: The Best Way to "hide" your files/folders
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by johnny.dacu (Post 70972)
What happens if you encrypt your windows?

It gets encrypted. :D


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