“Warning: Using TrueCrypt Is Not Secure…" was the opening message on TrueCrypt’s May 2014 home page update, shaking the confidence of many long-term users. The warning remains even months later, but it references the lack of continuing support for the award-winning, open-source encryption program.
Currently, there’s no indication that TrueCrypt’s impressive security has been diminished in the least; it’s just the original creators won’t close any holes should any be discovered. After extensive research in the matter, experts at Gibson Research Corporation conclude, “Yes…TrueCrypt Is Still Safe to Use."
It remains a mystery (one that conspiracy theorists are loving) why the developers abruptly closed shop and pointed users to Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption, which is only available in the Professional and Enterprise versions of Windows 8. The developers even went so far as to develop a neutered 7.2 version that only allows users to decrypt existing TrueCrypt volumes, so they can completely migrate away from TrueCrypt and follow the posted tutorials to establish BitLocker. Regardless of their motives or public response, however, TrueCrypt is still a formidable foe again data thieves and should be considered if you distrust closed-source, corporation-sponsored encryption that may or may not have governmental influence (removing the tinfoil hat now).
The advantages of TrueCrypt container files are numerous. For one, data inside is protected by 256-bit encryption using various encryption algorithms, including AES, Serpent, Two-Fish or a combination thereof. The containers remain encrypted until you “mount" them, at which time data is decrypted when needed in volatile RAM instead of temporarily transferring decrypted data to the hard drive where they could be recovered. Containers are also mounted to their own drive letter, so as far as Windows is concerned, they’re separate drives. Furthermore, container files are just that: individual files than can be copied, backed up to another drive or emailed to others without losing they encrypted state.