Protecting sensitive files on your portable flash drive…

Carrying files on a flash drive is an easy method of transporting files to and from the office; BUT, did you ever stop and think; what the consequences would be if you lost the drive. Would you be exposing sensitive files and data to someone that found the drive that ultimately could come back to haunt you? Portable flash drives are small and can very easily lost or misplaced.

There are numerous methods available to encrypt files but most of the those methods can be time consuming, still can expose or give hints to the nature of the file data, and in most instances cannot be fully used on other PC’s due to limited access rights. As always, prior to transporting data to/from your home PC to another site (e.g. work), make sure you have permission to do so (e.g. consult with your network administrator).

I have experimented with many software utilities that will encrypt data on a drive to deter and prevent exposure of the data. If you do not know what encryption is, do not let the term scare you.

encryption is the process of transforming information (referred to as plaintext) using an algorithm (called cipher) to make it unreadable to anyone except those possessing special knowledge, usually referred to as a key. [ source: WikiPedia ]

An utility that I recently started to use and have been quite impressed with is called “FREE SafeHouse Explorer”FREE Safehouse Explorer is a FREE (never expires) product that is offered by a company called PCDynamics, Inc. to promote their other commercial products and to promote the importance of data privacy.


FREE SafeHouse Explorer is initially installed on your PC, BUT there is a menu option in SafeHouse to copy the program to your flash drive or any external media. Once on your flash drive you will be prompted to create a volume storage area.  The volume storage area can be any size up to 2000 Gigabytes… In my case I have an 8 Gig flash drive and I created a 2 Gig volume area to store my sensitive files. Once your volume has been created, the actual program on the flash drive, called “SafeHouse Explorer” is the program that you use to move, copy, and delete files in the protected volume; thus, it makes no difference if you have administrative access rights on the PC or not. Basically, in summary, the  files that you intend on protecting are hidden inside this volume file that gives no hint of what the data may or could be. You can also backup these volume files; and to open them, you only need the “SafeHouse Explorer” program.  SafeHouse Explorer is very similar to Windows Explorer in appearance and operation. There are many features to this program, requires a minimal learning curve, and in the end I feel comfortable with the protection if offers in the event my drive is lost or stolen.

SafeHouse Explorer In Action

Main Features:

SafeHouse Explorer makes your secret files invisible and hides them from snoopers, intruders and anyone else who doesn’t have your permission to view them.

SafeHouse Explorer uses passwords and maximum-strength 256-bit advanced encryption to completely hide and defend your sensitive files, including photos, videos, spreadsheets, databases and just about any other kind of file that you might have.

SafeHouse Explorer can protect files residing on any drive, including memory sticks, external USB drives, network servers, CD/DVDs and even iPods. Supports U3 Smart Drives.

SafeHouse Explorer creates hidden private storage areas on your local hard drive or external media to hold your confidential files. Your files are completely invisible until you enter your password. After you enter your secret password, you access your files using SafeHouse Explorer’s familiar drag-and-drop Explorer-like interface.


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8 thoughts on “Protecting sensitive files on your portable flash drive…

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  1. Rick,
    I know you don’t get paid for these reviews you do, but – sheeze! – you should!

    I don’t use this particular encryption tool (probably because I’d never heard of it) but I will say this — it is very/ultra/super/mucho important that if you carry Contacts, documents containing personal information, and/or corporate documents, that they be encrypted.


  2. TechPaul,

    I’ve learned from the best…

    SafeHouse was new to me, as well… I’m betting this will even get better. The company (PC Dynamics) appears to have a good (lengthy history) behind it.



  3. Absolutely! I should work in many cases. But the important thing is to realize how painful losing your data can be. I believe that in order to really backup and encrypt your files you should always think of the consequences of others finding the data, and I use encrypted flash drive. The option to control your data anywhere is very simple, and the comfort of using and carrying has no price…


    1. Ahron,

      Thanks you for sharing the SanDisk option… Losing data, as a result of losing these little drives, can be a painful experience…

      Thank you,



  4. You’re killing me, I love it! Another great find! Rick go visit out website at the school. If you visit the Computer Information Technology class, you’ll see what we do. My students are required now to look at your blog, Techpaul and Bill’s blog. Excellent work. Kudos to you.


    1. SMallard,

      I’m speechless… WOW! Now the pressure is on to really make our blogs shine. TechPaul and Bill; you could not have picked a better pair. They both have been mentor’s to me and have provided guidance in the world of blogging…

      Again, I Thank you… Keep up the great work at TTC Shelbyville.



  5. Readers,

    I have had a “real” chance to use this software (SafeHouse) and I can tell you, “it is good stuff”… I’ve decided this is going to be my encryption software on my flash drive… I may even spring for the commercial version which allows you to expand the volume size on the fly…



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