In this blog, I would be giving you the details on How to Encrypt a Hard Drive on Windows. Encryption is the Key to making sure that your data is protected. It is also a best practice for you to include it in your security policies.
How To Encrypt a Hard Drive on Windows
A Hard drive encryption refers to encrypting the hard disk of a computer for you to prevent information leakage. Encryption uses a specific algorithm or password to make a hard disk or division unreadable. Nobody can access and unlock the hard drive without the key or password that is used to encrypt a particular drive.
A hard drive is encrypted for protection and is content and prevents unauthorized access. Microsoft claims that a password prompt to protects the data on the hard drive even when it is plugged into another computer. On Windows, you can get your hard drive encryption using an application called BitLocker. It is prepackaged using the operating system (OS), but you can be expected to enable the configuration in a few manual ways.
BitLocker is a software-based encryption tool that is used to protect users’ data on the local hard disk, and external hard drive, as well as use a USB flash drive that you would want to encrypt. After encrypted, the storage device will then only be accessed with an alphanumeric code that is created by the users.
With BitLocker, individuals can encrypt their various devices, as well as protect them against unauthorized changes to their system like firmware-level malware. This application is a special hard disk encryption software embedded in Microsoft windows. The process of using BitLocker is free and easy and you do not need to install anything.
Compatible System Supported by BitLocker
Before you use a BitLocker for encrypting a certain hard drive, then you need to know the systems that are supported and compatible with it.
- Windows 10 (Enterprise and Pro)
- Windows 8 and 8.1 (Professional and Enterprise)
- Windows 7 (Ultimate and Enterprise)
- Windows Vista (Ultimate and Enterprise)
- Windows Server 2008 and later.
With this system’s windows versions, you can successfully use a BitLocker for encryption.
How to Encrypt Your Hard Drive
Follow the steps below to encrypt your Hard Drive
Firstly, you have to launch the “Control panel”. Then select “System and Security”. Click on “BitLocker Drive” and at this point, you have to search “Manage BitLocker” from the start menu.
The BitLocker Control Panel launched with all the available drivers that are listed alongside their encryption status. They are separated under the operating system (OS) and fixed drive selections. You can get to encrypt all your these drives.
To encrypt any drives using BitLocker, you have to follow the guide below
- Launch and turn on BitLocker
- Then wait for it to verify your system requirements and select the “Next” option.
- Save the recovery key to the location that you prefer and select “Next”.
- Choose to encrypt using disk space only or encrypt the whole drive.
- Unless you plug the hard drive straight into another computer, select the new encryption mode. Select the “Compatible mode” if the hard drive needs to work using multiple computers or PC.
- Select the Next option and keep the Run BitLocker system check enabled and click on the “Continue” option.
You can reboot your device if it is required. After rebooting it, then you would find the volume encrypted, just as indicated by the icon located close to the hard disk. Make sure that you start the process over and over again for any fixed data drives. While in the process, BitLocker also prompts you to save a recovery key.
If you forgot your password or TPM is unable to properly authenticate your hard drive, you can also use the recovery key, which is a randomly generated string of numbers.
Reasons And Benefits for You to Encrypt Your Files
There can be an ordeal situation if you lost your laptop or were stolen and had a million social security numbers, or bank information that are stored on it. Let’s just say, the private information of 2500 participants in a clinical trial was stolen from the truck of a worker’s car. Nobody would want to be in that situation.
If information is not stored on your computer, and you only use it at home, then you do not need encryption. But that’s still a good idea. Encryptions are especially relevant for individuals that are concerned about data breaches. Most companies often require it in information security policies. The information security policies and processes that are in your company are incredibly important.
You should choose to encrypt specific files, but individuals should need to decrypt everything individually. With this method, you can also easily miss some certain temporary files, leaving holes in your data security. Full disk encryption won’t leave some sensitive information unprotected.
Encryption and Security Policies
An encryption policy is a basic, easy-to-implement way to make yourself or your business to be more secure. You can likely have to create your security policies for your small business or business startup. You do not have to write security policies from scratch, and we can have a cheap sheet if you do not want to make your encryption policy. You can search for templates for policies that are secure, or you can use the carbide platform to automatically generate custom security policies.
How Do I Encrypt My Hard Drive?
These are ways to easily encrypt a Hard Drive.
- Sort out the Hard drive that you wish to encrypt under “This PC” in Windows Explorer.
- Right-click the drive and choose “Turn on BitLocker”.
- Choose “Enter a Password”.
- Then you have to enter a secure password.
Should I Encrypt My Hard Drive with Windows 10?
The reason for encryption is to keep both files and other stuff secure. Unlike with an unencrypted computer, if you lose your password there is no easy way to retrieve or restore your data. In other words, encryption is like locking your files in a safe place. Encrypting your Hard drive should be the norm.
Do Windows 10 have Built-In Encryption Software?
Device encryption is mostly available on all editions of windows 10, but BitLocker encryption is available only on windows 10 pro, Enterprise, or Education versions.
How Much Does BitLocker Cost?
BitLocker is actually free with Microsoft Windows. Microsoft BitLocker is free to use and very easy to set up.