With USB flash drives constantly increasing in capacity, it’s now feasible to carry all your personal data with you on your keychain. Although this conveniently makes data available whenever you need it, it also exposes your data to loss. Seriously ask yourself what it would mean if that data fell into the wrong hands. If, like most people, the thought of someone trolling through your personal files sends a chill up your spine, then BitLocker To Go is for you.
BitLocker To Go protects removable media, such as USB drives, with 128-bit encryption by default. This encryption scrambles all the data on the drive, making it unrecoverable unless properly authenticated by a password, smart card or recovery key. That means even if someone acquires your flash drive, they’d be unable to access your data.
Windows 8’s BitLocker To Go is only available in the Professional and Enterprise editions. However, a drive encrypted with BitLocker To Go is still readable and editable in any version of Windows 8 or 7, provided you supply the correct password or smart card. You can also get read-only access in Windows XP and Vista by using the BitLocker To Go Reader, but only if the drive uses the FAT, FAT32 or exFAT file systems; encrypted NTFS drives are only supported on Windows 7 and 8.