There is a huge reliance on technology when it comes to running your business. Technology is now how a large number of organisations are conducting sales and storing their data. Of course, with our increased reliance on technology, so too do the potential risks with technology increase simultaneously. There are a lot of different methods available when it comes to keeping your company’s information secure; however, one of the most universal is to ensure that you keep a physical copy of your company’s data, or at least store the data off site. This could mean keeping it in the cloud, on a hard drive or in this instance, on a memory stick.
A memory stick is a great option if you are looking for an easy and cheap way to back up all of your data. They are small and easy to carry around with you as well, so if you have a problem with your computer or laptop, getting the information necessary to continue doing your job becomes very straightforward. Of course, the whole point behind having a memory stick is to keep your data as secure and supported as possible and as such, you should make sure that your memory stick is encrypted. There are different ways of doing this depending on what kind of software and hardware you work with. This article will break down those different methods in more detail.
Why Exactly Should You Encrypt Your Memory Stick?
The main reason why encrypting your memory stick is important is because this is one of the most effective ways to protect your data. If your memory stick should ever fall into the wrong hands, if encrypted then they are not able to gain access to your organisation’s private data. This could include data that pertains directly to your business or the data of your customers. If you are using a memory stick that isn’t encrypted, then you are leaving yourself vulnerable to different security threats.
What Does Encryption Mean?
Encryption sounds quite high tech, but the definition behind it is actually fairly simple. Of course, if you want to keep your company’s information as secure as possible and have ongoing assistance, it may be worth enlisting the help of a digital security company such as F1 Support; however, encrypting your memory stick is something you will likely be able to do on your own.
Encryption essentially means that only people who have an encryption key or a password to your memory stick will be able to access the information contained within. As such, it is likely you would provide this key to people in your company who need access to the information stored on the memory stick, but anybody else is not going to be able to get access to it.
This is why encryption can be such an effective tool to stop your business’s information falling into the wrong hands.
Encrypting a Memory Stick on a Mac
As previously stated, how you encrypt your memory stick is going to depend entirely on what kind of software and hardware you use. Essentially, the process is slightly different depending on what computer you have. If you are encrypting your memory stick on a Mac, which normally uses the filesystems of APFS or HFS+, you should carry out the following:
1. Erase the Drive
The first thing you are going to need to do is erase the drive so you can format it with the HFS+ filesystem. All you need to do is open up the desk utility app and then choose ‘Erase’. Remember that by doing this, there is a good chance that you might erase any data that is already contained on your memory stick and so it might be worth consulting an IT expert before carrying out this step.
2. Format the Filesystem
Upon erasing the drive and choosing the MacOS extended format, you then need to format your memory stick with the HFS+ filesystem.
3. Encrypt Drive
For the next step you need to actually encrypt the drive. You do this by clicking right on your USB drive within your Finder and then clicking on the ‘Encrypt’ option.
4. Set a Password
Choosing a password can be difficult, especially if it is one that might be shared with other people in your company. Be sure to pick one that is not easy to guess and that will keep others from gaining access.
Encrypting a Memory Stick on a Windows Computer
Alternatively, if you are using a Windows Computer then you should carry out the following in order to encrypt your memory stick:
1. Choose a Filesystem
First of all, choose a filesystem that you would like to use. These include NFTs, exFAT and FAT32. To do this, right click on your drive and then select ‘Format’.
2. Encrypt the Drive
In order to successfully encrypt your drive, you need to select ‘Drive’ inside File Explorer and then click ‘Manage’. After this, click on ‘Select BitLocker’ and then turn BitLocker on.
3. Set Yourself a Password
Choose a password that people will need to know to access the information on the memory stick.
4. Save Recovery Key
Finally, you are going to need to save your recovery key. The reason behind this is so that if you forget your password then you can recover it and get back access to your information.
Other Tips for Encryption
Of course, keeping your company’s information secure does not start and stop at encrypting memory sticks. There are lots of other tips when it comes to encryption that will add up to making sure your data is as protected as it could possibly be. This includes the likes of backing up onto other forms of hardware and using software, such as the cloud.
If you would like to know more about these methods, then it is important you contact IT specialists who can help. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to get in touch with F1 Support and find out how they can help your business to remain secure.