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The security of all the data on our computer is essential in these times. Threats such as information theft is something that occurs more often than many people realize. That is why we find it so interesting to show you how BitLocker can become a great ally for us and protect all those transcendental and important data on our PC or a USB drive.
This tool offered by Microsoft can help us keep the most sensitive information that we have well protected against any type of attack that we may suffer. The good thing is that we will achieve it in the hard drives that we have in the PC, but also in USB memories that we want to share with other people. You should keep reading because it will interest you a lot.
What is BitLocker
BitLocker is an application that allows us to protect our computer’s hard drive against any type of theft of what we store on it. This tool is capable of encrypting an entire drive or just a part of it, depending on what we need.
This software uses AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) encryption with a 128-bit key that can be changed to AES-256 and works if the disk partitions are NTFS type. This is the normal way in which a hard disk with Windows is participated, that is, a part where we have the entire operating system and another where only the boot system is.
Now is the time to know how we can activate BitLocker to encrypt the drive that we want. Before we begin, we must tell you that BitLocker is not available if you have Windows 10 Home, since Microsoft considers that this tool must be in its versions for professional environments.
- We must log into Windows with the system administrator account.
- Now click on Settings (toothed roulette that appears on the left side of the start menu) and now we write in the search area Control Panel and enter it.
- At this point we go to System and Security , then click on BitLocker Drive Encryption .
- BitLocker shows us the storage units. We must be clear that we can only use this system in units with assigned drive letter.
- We display the BitLocker options for the unit that we want to encrypt and we will see how we have the option to Activate BitLoker if we click on the unit. We have already commented that there will be drives, such as those that contain Windows startup, that will not allow using this system.
- Now a wizard appears in which we must enter the password to unlock the drive once it has been encrypted. This password must have uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special symbols in order to set it. In other words, a complex password to further complicate the lives of those who want to bypass our protection.
Create recovery key
When the process is finished, it will offer us several options to save a recovery key in case we forget the password. We can generate this key again from the configuration menu that appears next to the encrypted drive in the Activate BitLocker dialog box.
We may need this key if Windows detects any type of anomaly in the drive that has been encrypted when it executes some type of process with it. But it will also request it if we use an encrypted drive or USB in some way and we do not remember the password.
We will have several options to save the recovery key.
- Microsoft account : you can save the recovery key in OneDrive, yes, we had to log in with a Microsoft account before. We can access our BitLocker password at https://onedrive.live.com/recoverykey .
- USB flash drive : we can save the key on a pendrive, but it is not encrypted.
- In a file : we can create a text file where we will have the key.
- Print the recovery key : we can have the key printed and have it on paper for when we need it.
Encrypt a USB
With BitLocker we can also encrypt a USB drive . This can be useful if that unit has sensitive information and we do not want anyone to enter if it is lost. Only those who know the password could access.
To do this, we must follow these steps:
- We open the unit in the file explorer and go to the Unit Tools section.
- Then we select BitLocker . At that time the wizard will guide us, in the same way as with the hard disk, so the process will be the same.
If we want to carry out the process in reverse, on a hard drive or on a USB drive, to eliminate the existing encryption, we must tell you what can be done, following these steps:
- We return to the Control Panel , as we did in one of the previous cases. That is, click on Settings (start menu gear) and then write Control Panel in the search space, to select it when it comes out.
- Now we go to System and Security and select BitLocker Drive Encryption .
- Then we will see how we have an option called Deactivate BitLocker , which we must press to perform this task and that everything returns to its original condition.
We must be clear that by deactivating this tool, everything that we had encrypted will no longer be encrypted and will now be accessible by anyone. That is, this does not mean that one part is encrypted and another is not. The entire unit will no longer be protected against intruders.
With this tool that we have shown you and that Windows gives us in its most professional versions, we can create very secure units in which our most sensitive information is highly protected and in which only those who have the password that we ourselves can enter. demos. As we told you, we can not only do it on hard drives but also on USB drives, so everything becomes much more interesting, since many times we share important data through this type of device.