Secure USB key on the go

It’s very convenient to have your favorite programs and data at hand when you are away form your own computer. With a large capacity USB flash drive, it’s very easy to store lots of files as well as portable applications in the tiny key drive. But it’s so tiny and it’s really easy to get lost and your sensitive data will be at risk. Here’s my solution to build a very well secured USB flash drive with all my favorite programs with settings, my frequently used documents and even all my easy-to-forget passwords.

  • Use TrueCrypt to protect all data on the drive. Though most space on the USB key is encrypted, I still reserve a small mount of space to put TrueCrypt executable files for self-decrypt and autorun.
  • Intall (copy) portable applications. I installed portable web browser (Firefox), email client (Thunderbird), office suite (OpenOffice), antivirus (ClamWin), IM client (Pidgin), media player (VLC), game (Sudoku) etc. Most of them can be downloaded from PortableApps.com. You can use their PortableApps Suite as well, but I just found a better alternative, PStart, it’s more flexible and quicker.
  • Install KeePass for password management. Because it’s inside the encrypted part, which needs a password to decrypt, so your passwords will be double-secured.
  • Have a copy of TiddlyWiki for notes. My favorite notebook utility so far. You can easily turn it into an address book by Twab plugin. There are many plugins out there that can enhance TiddlyWiki, but I prefer to keep it simple and quick, and most importantly, get things done.