Last Updated Jul 21, 2010 2:53 PM EDT
Calling all flash drive users: free utility USB Safeguard encrypts flash drive data -- and erases it if necessary.
Think what would happen your drive got lost or stolen. Not a pleasant thought, huh? Goodbye, mission-critical documents and data. Hello, unemployment line! (Hey, people have been fired for less.)
Here's a video that shows how to use USB Safeguard. I highly recommend viewing it full-screen -- and with the audio muted (unless you like cloying techno-pop).
Like the ever-popular TrueCrypt, USB Safeguard lets you password-protect (using virtually unbreakable AES 256-bit encryption) your entire drive or selected files.
Unlike TrueCrypt, USB Safeguard lets you choose what to do in the event someone tries (and fails) to access your data. Options including doing nothing and shredding the files so they can't be recovered, period. (Think Mission Impossible: "This flash drive will self-destruct in five seconds.")
Two other features set the app apart. First, it can display an e-mail address or phone number to help an honest person return your lost drive. Second, it offers a virtual onscreen keyboard, which helps if you're using a PC that's not your own -- one with a keylogger attached, perhaps. That means no sneaky person can record your password as you enter it.
USB Safeguard is portable, meaning it requires no installation -- just copy it to your flash drive and run it. Best of all, it's free!