Encryption is the process of altering a document so it cannot be opened without a password. TrueCrypt encryption software makes digital files unreadable except to people who have the passwords to open them. Faculty and staff using laptops or mobile devices that contain sensitive information, WIN, Social Security numbers, grades, financial or research information, etc., should install TrueCrypt to protect their files.
In the online TrueCrypt help, the terms "TrueCrypt file," "TrueCrypt container," and "TrueCrypt volume" all refer to the same thing. These instructions will use the term "TrueCrypt container." A TrueCrypt container:
- Can be moved, copied, duplicated, backed up, or deleted just like any file or folder. If set up correctly, it or its copies cannot be opened without a password.
- Can only be opened with TrueCrypt and the password you set.
- When opened, can have files copied or saved into it, files modified in it, and files copied or deleted from it.
- Looks like another hard drive on your computer when opened. The files in it become encrypted when the virtual drive (i.e., container) is dismounted, or you quit the TrueCrypt program.
Do not delete the TrueCrypt container or lose your password. If you do, the files you've placed in the container can never be opened again.