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How to encrypt a Mac USB stick

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How to encrypt a Mac USB stick: Would you like to copy some important work files to a USB stick but are you afraid that someone could take it and view its contents without permission? Then don’t think twice and create an encrypted USB stick , the content of which can only be read after entering a password. How do you say? Do you have a Mac? No problem.

With today’s guide, we will see how to encrypt a Mac USB stick using the tools included by default in OS X or a very useful third-party application. In this way, you can create drives that can be used not only on Apple home computers but also on Windows and Linux PCs. Let’s get to work immediately!

If you want to know how to encrypt a Mac USB stick to be used exclusively on Apple systems, the first step you need to take is to launch the ‘ Disk Utility that is located in the Other of the Launchpad of OS X and select the icon of the USB pen encrypt from the left sidebar. Then go to the Initialize tab , set the Mac OS extended item (journaled, encoded) in the Format drop-down menu , type the name you want to assign to the device in the appropriate text field and click the Initialize button located at the bottom right.

In the window that opens, type the password you want to use to encrypt your key in the New password and Verify fields and click the Initialize button to save the settings and start formatting the drive. At the end of the operation (it should take a little time), you will have an empty but encrypted USB stick. This means that every time you insert the unit into your Mac (or any other Apple computer), to access its content, add or remove files, you will be asked to enter a password. The key will no longer be recognized by Windows PCs until you format it again in FAT or NTFS by removing its encryption.

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If you want to encrypt a Mac USB stick but also want to use it on Windows and Linux, I recommend using TrueCrypt . It is an excellent free and open source encryption software compatible with all main operating systems that allows you to encrypt entire units making them inaccessible if you do not enter the correct password. To download TrueCrypt on your Mac connected to the Internet site of the application and click ‘ Download placed under the heading Mac OS X .

Download is complete open, double clicking on it, the file you just downloaded (eg TrueCrypt 7.1a Mac OS X.dmg ), click on the Accept button and start the TrueCrypt 7.1a.mpkg installation package by right-clicking on it and selecting the Open item from the menu that appears. In the window that opens, click on Continue and Install , then type the password of your user account on OS X and click first on the Install software button and then on Close to finish the TrueCrypt installation process .

To encrypt a USB stick with TrueCrypt, start the application and click on the Create volume button . In the window that opens, put the check mark next to the item Create an encrypted file container and click Next for two consecutive times. At this point, click on Select file , select the USB stick to be encrypted, type the name you want to assign to the encrypted archive in which you will insert your files and click first on Save and then on Next for two more consecutive times.

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Now you have to choose the space to reserve for the encrypted archive in which to insert the files. I advise you not to go beyond 75–80% of the space available on the stick, in order to leave some free and unencrypted space for emergencies. Then type the size of the encrypted volume you intend to create and click Next , then type the password you want to use to protect the contents of the drive in the Password and Confirm password fields and click Next again twice. Finally, move the mouse a bit in the TrueCrypt window to strengthen the encryption system applied to the stick and click on the Format button to start the creation of the encrypted archive on the device.

At the end of the operation, to access the contents of the stick you will need to start TrueCrypt, click on the Select file button and select the encrypted archive on the drive. Next, you will need to click on Mount and type in the password to decrypt the contents of the device.