How to Encrypt and Protect a USB Drive with a Password and a Hint on Mac OS X Sierra
If you want to secure your data on a USB drive, you can encrypt it with a password and a hint using Disk Utility on Mac OS X Sierra. Encryption prevents unauthorized access to your files, and a hint can help you remember your password if you forget it. Here are the steps to encrypt and protect a USB drive with a password and a hint on Mac OS X Sierra:
Connect your USB drive to your Mac and open Disk Utility. You can find it in Applications > Utilities or by using Spotlight.
In Disk Utility, choose View > Show All Devices from the menu bar. This will show you all the storage devices connected to your Mac.
Select your USB drive from the sidebar. Make sure you select the device itself, not the volume under it.
Click the Erase button in the toolbar. This will erase all the data on your USB drive, so make sure you have a backup of anything important.
Enter a name for your USB drive in the Name field.
Click the Scheme pop-up menu and choose GUID Partition Map. This is the recommended partition scheme for most USB drives.
Click the Format pop-up menu and choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled, Encrypted). This is the encrypted file system format that will protect your USB drive with a password.
A dialog box will appear asking you to enter and verify a password for your USB drive. Choose a strong password that you can remember, but don't use something easy to guess like your name or birthday.
In the same dialog box, enter a hint for your password in the Password Hint field. This hint will be displayed if you enter the wrong password three times when trying to access your USB drive. Choose a hint that can help you recall your password, but don't make it too obvious or reveal your password.
Click Choose, then click Erase. Disk Utility will format and encrypt your USB drive with your password and hint.
Click Done when the process is finished, then quit Disk Utility.
Eject your USB drive from Finder, then unplug it from your Mac.
Now you have an encrypted and protected USB drive that you can use to store your sensitive data. To access it, you need to plug it into your Mac and enter your password when prompted. If you forget your password, you can see your hint by entering the wrong password three times. However, if you lose both your password and hint, there is no way to recover your data, so be careful.
Source: Encrypt and protect a storage device with a password in Disk Utility on Mac - Apple Support
Benefits of Encrypting Your USB Drive
Encrypting your USB drive is not only a good practice, but also a necessity in some cases. There are many benefits of using an encrypted USB drive, such as:
Keeping sensitive data secure: If you store any confidential or personal data on your USB drive, such as business documents, customer records, financial statements, or passwords, you don't want anyone else to access them without your permission. Encrypting your USB drive will ensure that only you or someone who knows your password can read your files. This will protect your data from theft, loss, or unauthorized access.
Protecting customer information: If you handle any customer information on your USB drive, such as names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, or credit card details, you have a responsibility to protect their privacy and security. Encrypting your USB drive will help you comply with data protection regulations, such as GDPR in the European Union, which require you to safeguard personal data and prevent data breaches. Failing to do so could result in fines, lawsuits, or reputational damage.
Ensuring business continuity: If you rely on your USB drive to store or transfer important data for your work, such as presentations, reports, contracts, or invoices, you don't want to lose them or have them corrupted by viruses or malware. Encrypting your USB drive will help you prevent data loss or damage that could affect your productivity, efficiency, or profitability. You will also avoid the hassle and cost of recovering or recreating your data.
Source: Why should you use an encrypted USB Flash Drive - USB2U Articles ec8f644aee