By Andrew Liszewski
More and more flash drives and external storage solutions are shipping with built-in encryption options, and it makes sense. Back when flash drives were just 32MB in size having one go missing was not necessarily the end of the world. But these days you can carry 100+ gigs of data in something that’s as easy to misplace as a pen, so making sure your digital life stays private and protected is a genuine concern. And the USB Crypto Adapter, from a Norway-based company called Hiddn, promises to make any drive secure no matter how old or small it may be.
As the name implies, the Crypto is an adapter that sits between a computer’s USB port and the storage drive and deals with all of the encryption/decryption details. It uses an AES 256-bit encryption algorithm which is still strong and secure, as well as a combination PIN and smartcard to access the files on the drive. None of the security or encryption keys are stored on the actual media either, so if they go missing there’s little to no chance your files will be accessible to anyone but you. Obviously it would be nice if the unit was a little more compact so it was a touch easier to travel with, but the ability to encrypt all of your drives, no matter what capacity or brand they are, makes it a handy tool to have on hand, even if you’re not an IT person.