How to encrypt a flash drive on Mac OSX

If you use a flash drive or a flash memory or an external drive to save some of your data, then this simple and step by step guide will enable you to learn flash drive encryption with your Mac OSX.

[divider height=”30″]

While you can still use a traditional method of external drive encryption through Disk Utility on Mac, the process of external memory encryption is simpler and easier to do on newer versions of Mac OS.

[divider height=”30″ style=”dots” line=”default” themecolor=”1″]

The below guide shows how to encrypt a flash drive (or any other external drive) on Mac OS:

Step 1: Connect the flash drive to the Mac

Step 2: Right Click on the external drive icon and select the Encrypt option from the drop down menu.

(If don’t see the icon, goto Finder>Preferences>General and check external disk to show on the desktop. You can also find the external drive’s icon in the Finder; you can right click and select ‘Encrypt’ from there as well).

Step 3: The third step if to set a password. Choose the password carefully and make sure you never forget it. The password hint field is a required field and would help you remind your password if and when you forget the password.

Step 4: Click the ‘Encrypt Disk’ button and wait for the encryption to take place.

Depending upon the type of drive connected to the Mac and being encrypted, the encryption process takes time accordingly. Encryption process would take lesser time for a USB or a Flash drive compared to an external drive with larger space.

When the encryption process is completed and you disconnect the drive, it will ask for a password every time you reconnect the drive to the Mac again. To be extra cautious, never select ‘Remember this password in my Keychain’. This wont save the password in the system and instead you will be asked to enter the password every time the external drive is plugged in.

How to encrypt Mac?

When FileVault is enabled on Mac, it encrypts everything, all files stored on the disk are encrypted. Any newly created file or document will be encrypted automatically and instantly. It is fast and highly secure.

How to encrypt Mac?

Apple has a built-in encryption support for Mac OS. With the built-in feature of FileVault, you can encrypt entire Start-up disk on a Mac.

When FileVault is enabled on Mac, it encrypts everything, all files stored on the disk are encrypted. Any newly created file or document will be encrypted automatically and instantly. It is fast and highly secure.

FileVault full-disk encryption (FileVault 2) uses XTS-AES 128 encryption to help prevent unauthorized access to the information on your startup disk. If someone gains an unauthorized access to your Mac and access your hard drive will not be able to view your data without having the encryption key since data will be stored in an encrypted form. If the FileVault wasn’t enabled and the Mac was not encrypted, someone with physical access to your Mac could easily view your unencrypted data by removing your hard drive.

Thus, it is highly recommended to turn on FileVault and encrypt your Mac.

Steps to encrypt Mac? Apple has made FileVault 2 an inbuilt feature Mac OS X Lion onwards. Here’s how you can enable FileVault on your Mac.

  1. Choose Apple menu and goto System Preferences, then click Security and Privacy icon.
  2. Click the FileVault tab to configure it.
  3. Click the Lock button on the bottom left corner. Enter an Administrator name and Password.
  4. Click Turn On FileVault.
  5. If you have multiple users on your Mac, you will need to enter password for each user to enable FileVault for those users. Click Enable User and enter password. This will unlock the disk for these users, else they will not be able to access the disk. Users added after turning on FileVault will be automatically enabled.
  6. You need choose an option to unlock the disk and reset your password in case you forget your password.
  7. Depending on the Mac OS you are using you can choose one of the below methods:a.) You can choose to store a FileVault recovery key with Apple by providing the questions and answers to three security questions. Choose answers that you’re sure to remember.b.) You can choose to use your iCloud account to unlock your disk and reset your password.c.) If you don’t want to use iCloud FileVault recovery, you can create a local recovery key. Keep the letters and numbers of the key somewhere safe—other than on your encrypted startup disk.
  8. When Filevault setup is complete, your Mac will restart and you will need to login by entering your password. After your Mac starts up, the encryption of the disk occurs in the background.
  9. Encryption process takes sometime and you can check progress in the FileVault section of Security & Privacy preferences. It usually takes an hour or two to complete. During this time you can continue to use your Mac normally.
  10. You need to make sure that your Mac is awake and plugged in to AC power through this entire process.

Following the above steps will make your Mac an encrypted machine. FileVault requires that you log in every time your Mac starts up, and no account is permitted to log in automatically.

How to encrypt your Android phone?

iPhone devices are encrypted by default but that’s not the case with Android devices. Although the privacy features for an Android device are built in, users of these devices need to follow few simple steps to turn on the encryption feature the device.

In this guide, we will explain in detail how a user can encrypt an Android device by following few simple steps. But, before that lets see why phone encryption is important thing to do.
[blockquote author=”” link=”” target=”_blank”]Encryption provides a level of security that scrambles all the information on your phone with a special cryptographic key… Encryption makes your phone secure and protects your data from theft.[/blockquote]


Why encrypt my phone?

All of us keep personal information and data in our phones – be it photos, videos, emails, contact list, passwords, bank account numbers, etc. None of us want snoopers or hackers to get access to the personal information stored on our phones. Each one of us wants it to be secure and private. Mere having a lock screen code doesn’t help. Encryption provides a level of security that scrambles all the information on your phone with a special cryptographic key. That means even if someone breaks through the lock screen and access your phone, the data wont be available without that key.

Encryption makes your phone secure and protects your data from theft.

Are their any cons for phone encryption?

Disadvantages of phone encryption are negligible compared to its advantages.

Encryption on old Android phones can show down the performance a bit and have an impact on the battery life. But you don’t need to worry about it if you have a newer phone which would have a faster processor and better hardware. On newer Android phones, encryption has minimal affect on performance and battery life of the phone, which is negligible and goes unnoticeable.

How to encrypt your Android phone?

Encryption process on all Android phones is usually same but there might be slight differences depending on the version of Android on your phone. Below is a generic step by step process of how to encrypt your Android phone.

    1. Before you start the process to encrypt your phone, make sure your phone is connected to the charger and has enough battery charge.The encryption process usually takes 30 – 45 minutes and it is important that your doesn’t run out of battery during the entire process.
    2. Back up your data before you start the encryption process (Optional, but preferred).
    3. From your phone menu, open ‘Settings’ and click on ‘Security’ (‘Lock Screen’ in some Android versions) and then select ‘Screen Lock’.

      Settings > Security > Screen Lock

      Enter your current password or create a new password by following the prompts. Your password should be 6 – 16 characters long and should contain at least one numeric digit.

    4. Now select the ‘Encrypt Device’ option from the ‘Security’ settings. Select ‘Encrypt Phone’ to confirm and follow the prompts. At this point you will be prompted to enter the password again to confirm.

    5. Now you need to wait until the encryption process is complete. It will usually take 30 – 45 minutes. During this process the phone will reboot a few times. Once the encryption process is complete you will be prompted to enter your password again.

Now your phone is encrypted and you can safely use your phone. You will be asked to enter your password every time you reboot your phone. Remember your password!