Encrypting a USB stick

Hello
I have a usb stck with some data base files. I use the stick on a windows 7 laptop.
I think I need to encrypt the usb stick in case it gets lost, stolen etc

I wonder if anyone can direct me to some  reliable free encryption software which will do the job safely.
Any pitfalls etc?
Many thanks

John
johnhardyAsked:
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Hutch_77Commented:
Truecrypt is my personal favorite.
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TolomirAdministratorCommented:
with windows 7 enterprise or utlimate you can also use the build-in bitlocker tool.

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/BitLocker_Drive_Encryption
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TolomirAdministratorCommented:
you might also want to give http://www.gpg4win.de/index.html a try:

Gpg4win - a secure solution...for file and email encryption. Gpg4win (GNU Privacy Guard for Windows) is Free Software and can be installed with just a few mouse clicks.

The latest version can encrypt files and folders with the pgp compliant gpg algorithms.
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Hutch_77Commented:
From what I have gone through research, and I spent a lot of time researching it for a project the bit locker is not a real good encryption tool.  When I first saw it in 7 it sounded like a great addition, but in MS's norm the just kind of mail it in.  

The other thing I like about Truecrypt is you can embed your information into files.  like say you put a JPG on the file that opens like a normal JPG, open Truecrypt and then the file can be expanded out and it is encrypted in the bits of the jpg.  
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johnhardyAuthor Commented:
Sorry Hutch I got lost here
then the file can be expanded out and it is encrypted in the bits of the jpg.  

I am mainly concerned with text and DB items

Thanks

John
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Hutch_77Commented:
if it is db items then encrypting the whole thumbdrive is best.

Truecrypt lets you take a file that can be anything so if someone got their hands on it they see whatever that file is.  And if it were a Picture it would open up as a JPg, but True crypt turns it into a "container" so you can drop important files into the file and they would not be seen unless you open the file up using the key and truecrypt.  Its just a way of encrypting and actually hiding important files.
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johnhardyAuthor Commented:
Very many thanks for all of the information. Most helpful.
Regards
John
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