Simplified Privacy

Veracrypt for beginners

Veracrypt is a program used to create virtual encrypted drives.  In our earlier article, we discussed full disc encryption, which is when the hard-drive itself is encrypted.  But the term “disc encryption” refers to either whole physical drives or a virtual machine’s entire virtual drive.  What Veracrypt lets you do is create a small virtual partition within an operating system that’s encrypted…

In other words, full disc encryption does everything on the computer’s drive, whereas with Veracrypt, you can encrypt just a group of files.

Veracrypt lets you pick how big this drive is, what it’s named, and where it is on your PC.  This allows you to have much more freedom and protection than simply encrypting the disc by itself.  An attacker would know immediately about full-disc encryption because of the password prompt at the very start of the operating system boot-up.  On the other hand, Veracrypt drives are not specifically labeled as Veracrypt drives.  This buys you some time (although a sophisticated attacker with a long-time horizon would eventually try to mount these encrypted files, which would then provide a password prompt).

Hidden Drives

Another advantage of VeraCrypt is the possibility for hidden volumes.  What this means is there’s a bullshit fake volume when you open it with one password and then there’s whatever you really want to hide in the second hidden volume with the second password.

An attacker could potentially demand you give the password, and then you would give the bullshit fake volume password.  The attacker would then see this bullshit fake content and have no way of knowing if there is a hidden volume.

Now keep in mind that most cybersecurity experts know about Veracrypt’s hidden volume feature.  So you would have to do a very convincing job with this bullshit fake volume’s files to make it seem like that is all there is.

Android Version

VDS Lite is the Android version of Veracrypt, created by a different team.  It has less functionality than Veracrypt, but it is still useful for transferring these encrypted volumes on mobile.  You can get VDS Lite from the open source F-Droid store.

Conclusion

You would get a lot out of subscribing for free to our new content by email, by Session messenger, via RSS feed, our Ethereum push notification channel, or on Nostr. Disc encryption means the entire computer drive is encrypted, whereas Veracrypt is a powerful tool for encrypting some groups of files.  On the other hand, PGP is a tool for encrypting text, often used with emails.  In the next article, we’ll learn about PGP.

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