Social Sciences Computing - TrueCrypt

For encrypting files on a PC, SSC recommends TrueCrypt.TrueCrypt is a free open-source disk encryption software for Windows XP/2000/2003 and Linux. The main features of TrueCrypt are:


  • Creates a virtual encrypted disk within a file and mounts it as a real disk.
  • Encrypts an entire hard disk partition or a storage device such as USB flash drive.
  • Encryption is automatic, real-time (on-the-fly) and transparent. Files copied to the TrueCrypt disk are automatically encrypted. Files copied from the TrueCrypt disk are automatically decrypted.
  • Uses maximum strength encryption algorithms. Among the encryption methods available in TrueCrypt are AES, 3DES and Twofish.

    Download: (You must be a computer administrator to install TrueCrypt; however, non-administrators can use TrueCrypt.)


    TrueCrypt and SAS SAS can analyze data stored on a TrueCrypt disk; however, SAS must be configured to store work files on the encrypted disk. SAS creates temporary files in the “work” directory. By default the work directory is not on the encrypted drive. To run SAS on the encrypted drive, modify the Windows shortcut for SAS to put work files on the encrypted drive. To configure SAS to use a TrueCrypt disk, add –work X:\SAS-work at the end of the command to invoke the SAS program.
    X: is the letter for the encrypted drive
    SAS-work is a directory that you created on the encrypted drive for your SAS work files

    Detailed notes on how to setup SAS to use a TrueCrypt volume are available at this page: SAS TrueCrypt notes


    TrueCrypt and Stata Stata does not create work files in the same way that SAS does. You can work with Stata datasets directly on a TrueCrypt disk.