I finally get some security religion and discover how easy it really is

I finally get security religion

With all the news lately about the fundamental flaws in DNS and the fact that my digital life is on my laptop, I decided to take a few hours today to reconfigure my router to use OpenDNS and to encrypt the whole drive in my laptop using TrueCrypt.

After months of listening to Leo and Steve tell me how great these services were, I was feeling like someone who refuses to get the religion he’s supposed to if I didn’t try ’em out.

Changing your router to use OpenDNS is plain, dead, dumb simple: you simply change two IP addresses in your router’s configuration. The OpenDNS IP addresses are on every page of their website. Can’t miss it. Total time to implement: 10 minutes.

The decision to use TrueCrypt was a little more involved: I run Vista Ultimate which offers BitLocker whole-disk encryption. So you’d naturally assume that the built-in encryption would be better. But after hearing that Steve Gibson’s Windows XP machine was actually faster after using TrueCrypt, I decided to try this amazing open source product. TrueCrypt doesn’t feel like open source…it’s exceptionally well documented and has the fit-and-finish of a commercial product.

Total time to setup for whole disk encryption on my ThinkPad T60p with an Hitachi Travelstar 200GB 7200rpm drive? 15 minutes, including the burning of a backup CD-ROM. Encryption itself took three hours.

I did have one problem, which was easily solved. I couldn’t hibernate the machine (which Vista isn’t really happy to do anymore anyway, but which is sort of the ultimate test for a whole-disk encryption program) until I deleted the previous hibernation file and allowed Vista to recreate it on the TrueCrypt-encrypted volume.

I didn’t see this in a couple of searches online, so hopefully if anyone searches for “TrueCrypt Vista hibernation file” they’ll find this post and give it a try.

Now, I can’t even “feel” the encryption…my laptop performs as before. My Vista performance base score was 4.3 before and after the whole disk was encrypted.

In short, for a computer user today, the tools to significantly increase your personal security are easy-to-use, free and astonishingly good.





One response to “I finally get some security religion and discover how easy it really is”

  1. […] public links >> truecrypt I finally get some security religion and discover how easy it … Saved by xzero24 on Fri 24-10-2008 Encrypting Data with TrueCrypt Saved by chaos on Thu […]

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