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Using TrueCrypt on Linux and Windows

Update: the TrueCrypt project unexpectedly shut down on 28 May 2014. A mirrored copy of TrueCrypt.org is available on Andryou.com. The home page of the next incarnation of TrueCrypt is TrueCrypt.ch.

After numerous revelations this year of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) frightening capabilities of mass spying on phone calls and Internet traffic (see, for example, PRISM), there has been a renewed interest in online privacy and the securing of our electronic data communications, such as Web and email activity. More and more Internet users are looking for solutions to keep their files, emails, and Web searches private. Help is not far off: one of the most effective ways to foil surveillance is by using encryption to make your data unreadable by other parties.

Data can be encrypted in two states – when it is in transmission through a communications network, or when it is at rest (i.e., stored on some sort of storage medium, such as a computer hard drive like the internal drive of your PC or an external USB flash drive). This blog has already covered SSH, RetroShare, and the Tor network as options for securing data in transit. Now we will look at TrueCrypt, perhaps the most popular solution for encrypting data at rest. This article will explain how TrueCrypt works and how you can utilize it on the two most popular operating systems, Microsoft Windows and Linux.

TrueCrypt logo

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Written by Doug Vitale

November 18, 2013 at 4:50 PM

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