What is TrueCrypt?
TrueCrypt is defined as an open source encryption software. There are two main parts for this definition. An open source software simply means that the source code is available to the public for modification and review. Having TrueCrypt’s authentic source code provides a level of assurance that the code is secure and that there are no loopholes in which the security can be breached. According to truecrypt.org, the code is being reviewed constantly by many independent researchers to insure maximum security. The second part of this definition is that TrueCrypt is an encryption software. An encryption software’s main job is to encrypt and decrypt information/data usually through very complex mathematical algorithms. Once the data is encrypted, it is very hard to decrypt it without the password that was used to encrypt the data originally.
How to use TrueCrypt?
The following will be a step by step guide to install and use TrueCrypt.
1.Go to TrueCrypt.org
2. Download and install TrueCrypt.
3. After opening TrueCrypt, click on “Create Volume”
4. A TrueCrypt Volume Creation wizard window will pop up, click through the defult setting and choose a location for the file to be on the comupter (EX. Desktop or My Pictures)
5. After choosing the location, click thorugh the wizard till you get to the password screen
6. Type in a password or your choice.
8. After that, a conformation screen should appear informing you that the volume was successfully created.
9. In the new window that pops up, you can select a drive to put the volume
10. After selecting the drive, click on “select file” to locate your file
11. After that, click on “Mount”
12. A password window will pop up, and you will be directed to enter your password
13. After successfully mounting the volume, you can access, transfer, copy any files in the volume.
14. When you are done with editing your file, click on dismount to lock your volumes again
NOTE: the above instructions were an abbreviated version of the actual tutorial. Please visit this URL for a more detailed walk through of the process: http://www.truecrypt.org/docs/tutorial
Uses in the medical field:
In the medical field, privacy is a huge concern. Patient-doctor confidentiality has always been one of the top priorities for medical personal. Over the past couple decades, provisions such as The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) have been established to ensure patient security. TrueCrypt can be used to provide another layer of security for both the doctor and the patient. During the course of the past couple years, medical practices have been switching from paper patient charts and paper drug prescriptions to digital copies of both. This means that any compromise in security in this digital network, for example, a stolen laptop, would yield large amounts of medical information that concerns a lot of patients. If medical practices start using TrueCrypt to encrypt their patients’ files, then even if the network is compromised, intense reverse engineering would be required to access these files.