Encrypting external media is important. During the next part of this series on encryption I am going to discuss encrypting external media like USB flash drives or external hard drives. Because these drives are used as backups or to store sensitive data, and because they are easily lost, encrypting them is just as important as encrypting their hosts. We will begin again with FileVault external media encryption.Using FileVault to encrypt external devices is incredibly simple.
FileVault External Media Encryption
To begin encrypting a device with FileVault, first connect it to your system. Open a Finder window. Right click on the device. Select “Encrypt [device name]” from the context menu. the device name in this instance is “Small Backup”.
A new window will appear prompting you to choose an encryption password. You will also be prompted to create a password hint. Choose a good, strong password. Since providing a password hint is not optional, choose one that does not actually hint at the password. When you are ready to begin click “Encrypt Disk”. The encryptino process will now begin.
No progress bar will be displayed while the disk is being encrypted. However, it is important not to remove it during the encryption process. If you wish to view the progress you must do so through the Terminal. Open the Terminal (Launchpad >> Other >> Terminal) and enter the following command:
diskutil cs list
The progress will be displayed as shown below:
When the encryption process is complete you can dismount the device and remove it. In the future when you attach the device you will be prompted to enter the password to unlock it as shown below. When the correct password is entered the device will be accessible. When you dismount the drive it will once again be secured.
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