The purpose of encrypting your external USB drives and memory sticks is similar to full-disk encryption. It ensures that your files remain secure in case the USB drive is lost or stolen.
There are many situations these could happen:
You are staying in a hotel and the USB drive is left in your room unattended
Someone breaks into your apartment or office
The USB stick is left in the trunk of the car and someone breaks into it
Someone snatches drive from your purse or backpack
You are deliberately put into a situation that separates you from your device. For example a thorough security check at the airport
Full disk encryption is an effective practice to protect yourself and your sources in these situations. Read on to configure BitLocker to protect your external drives. At the end of this article, you will learn to encrypt and use a USB drive for storing your sensitive documents.
BitLocker is the built-in full disk encryption software in Windows. Unfortunately, not every edition of Windows features this tool. Firstly, check whether you have Windows Pro or Enterprise edition on your device.
If you have another version than Pro or Enterprise, you must buy an upgrade from Microsoft. The good news is that you don't need to reinstall everything, the upgrade happens automatically in the background once you purchased a new product key. Follow these instructions to upgrade your system.