I can’t find my USB flash drive, now everybody can see my stuff!

Universal Serial Bus (USB) drives or flash drives are convenient devices for storing data because they’re usually quite small making them portable. However, they’re easy to lose and if you’re like me, you’ve misplaced dozens of flash drives which might have even contained sensitive data like your curriculum vitae, copies of your ID, or even class assignments.  In the wrong hands, this could lead to a security breach. So if you carry around sensitive data in your pockets you should consider having your flash drives encrypted.

What is Encryption?

You’ve probably heard this word a thousand times. It’s simply a process of making information or a transaction into a gibberish format that should only make intelligible sense to the authorised user. Encryption has been deployed on many platforms such as online banking, websites, emails and social media platforms like WhatsApp.

Encryption Options

They are a lot of encryption options out there like File Vault. This option is  available for Mac and is also built into the operating system. Buying an already encrypted flash is also a great option. Off the top of my head I’d recommend you get yourself a Kingston Data traveller 4000 or you might want to use use third party software such as VeraCrypt, DisckCryptor and Rohos Disk Encryption. For now, I’ll give you more detail on BitLocker for Windows. The perks of BitLocker are that it’s free and easy to work with.

Steps to Take

Start by connecting the USB stick to the computer then right click your mouse. You will get a popup option which will allow you to select and turn on BitLocker.


Next, you have to select the Unlock method for personal use I recommend the password option.

Now choose how the recovery key will be saved in an event that a password is forgotten. This file needs not to accessible to anyone except you self.

Select how much of Flash will be encrypted.



We’re almost done, the duration is dependent on the size of the flash been encrypted. Once the encryption is complete we get a popup notification. The flash Icon changes and appears to have a lock on it.



To access the flash right click on it and select Unlock Drive.


To further manage BitLocker once the flash is open you can click on Manage BitLocker.


And we are encrypted!

That’s it for now…

George Kasanga

The IT Guru

The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his/her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of the University and its management (which includes editors(s) of this blog. Information on this site may contain errors or inaccuracies; we do not make warranty as to the correctness or reliability of the site’s content. If you own rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on this site, please contact us via e-mail and they will be promptly removed.





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