Thursday 28 May 2020

Backup Windows 10 to an encrypted drive more easily

Back up your data to an encrypted external disk for free - money-free and hassle-free.

Summary: use auto-unlock so you don't need to enter your drive's encryption password every time you use it.

Backing up your data has always been important but, with the rise of ransomware, never more so than now...
If you are security conscious you'll have BitLocker encryption enabled on your laptop's hard disk. And you'll be backing up your data either to the cloud or an external drive. Or both.

But that external drive, which sits next to your computer storing copies of all your files. Is that encrypted too?

If not, a bad guy can bypass your thoughtful security setup by simply pinching the little drive and grabbing your data directly from the device that was supposed to improve your security.

You can enable BitLocker on the external drive but you'll have to enter your BitLocker password every time you plug it in. Unless you know about this tip: 'auto-unlock'.

You can access the auto-unlock setting through the Windows 10 Control Panel.

Choose the BitLocker Drive Encryption section and find your external drive (aka Removable data drive) in the list. Beneath its name you should see some options, one of which is:

Turn on auto-unlock

Simply click this option once and you won't need to enter your external drive's BitLocker password again. Unless you connect it to another device, of course!

This external drive holds backup data securely. You don't need to remember to type in your password each time you use it.

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