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Using Veracrypt to create secure containers

In the previous Veracrypt post, we outlined how to create encrypted USB drives this encrypts the whole drive. One of the useful features of Veracrypt is the ability to produce containers that you can mount as VeraCrypt drives onto your computer. The resulting container is a highly secure mechanism for transferring files safely and effectively to 3rd parties.

Start Veracrypt

Figure 1 – Veracrypt Main Window

Click on the Tools menu then select Volume Creation Wizard

The choices are to create an encrypted container, encrypt a partition / drive or encrypt the system partition (the one running Windows). We are going to create an encrypted container and check that option in that screen. Click next.

Figure 2 – Creation Wizard

Then click Next.

Figure 3 – Volume Type

Select the Standard Veracrypt Volume then Click Next

Figure 4 – Create the container file

Use the Select File button and create a (vc for veracrypt) in drive with sufficient space.

Then Click Next

Figure 5 – Select Encryption Method

Now use the Encryption Algorithm Selection and pick a preferred encryption type. Then Click Next

Figure 6 – Select size of your container

Select the preferred size of the container. This can be small for sending as email or large for storing backups in.

A tip is check out the size of the files you want to send, compress them with a ZIP or 7z program into a single file. Add a 1MB buffer onto the size and use that as the size for your container.

Click Next

Figure 7 – Password for the container

Make sure you use a large password, something that is not a dictionary word and not a combination of them. A password should be at least made of 25 characters and be made of upper and lower case chars, numbers and special chars. The maximum amount of chars is 64. A keyfile can be created as well which then works in combination with the password. Store this password somewhere safe (envelope in a safe) should you forget it.

Click Next

Figure 8 – Select format type

Choose your filesystem, FAT is okay for most small containers. Remember for anything larger than 2GB use NTFS as it is more universally understood by Mac, Linux and Windows. Then Click Next

Figure 9 – Format screen

Move the mouse across the dialogue for this screen until the Randomness Collected from Mouse Movements bar is full. The more randomness the better.

Then Click Format

Your container will now format. You should have a file now sitting in the location where you selected above.

To use the container load it into Veracrypt.

Mounting your encrypted USB drive

Select a drive letter currently not assigned and click on Select Device afterwards in the main menu. Now select the file – that you have created and encrypted and click on OK

Figure 10 – Mounting your encrypted drive for use

Now click on Mount which opens up a password box where you have to enter the password that you have selected during setup. Click OK afterwards and work with the container normally from there on if the password was correct it should appear as your selected drive on your machine. At the conclusion of use do not forget to Dismount All this will close the Veracrypt file down.

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