What types of computers can be encrypted?

Sophos SafeGuard Full Disk Encryption can be installed on the following operating systems:

  • Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10
  • Mac OS X 10.9, 10.10, 10.11 and 10.12

Why should I encrypt my computer?

Once encrypted, if your desktop or laptop should be stolen or misplaced, the computer’s data will not be accessible. This protects the individuals who may have their sensitive information stored on your computer system, and protects the University by ensuring sensitive and confidential data are not released to unauthorized personnel.

Why should I use Sophos SafeGuard Full Disk Encryption instead of my operating system's native encryption (FileVault 2, BitLocker)?

Sophos SafeGuard utilizes Mac OS X and Windows native encryption when applicable. Sophos Safeguard manages the recovery keys and sends status updates (but not any of the computer’s data) to a centralized server.

Using the native encryption without SafeGuard does not provide a centralized status update component. In the event that a computer with Legally Restricted data is lost or stolen, University IT can check the Sophos SafeGuard Full Disk Encryption status log to ensure the computer was encrypted. If this same computer had been encrypted with FileVault 2 or BitLocker instead of Sophos, University IT would have no way to verify the computer was encrypted and the theft of Legally Restricted data would need to be reported. This could result in financial sanctions for the University or department responsible for the computer.

Do I need to do anything before encryption can begin?

Your IT support person will assist you with performing a check of your hard drive the day before your installation. This procedure is necessary to ensure an efficient encryption process.

How long does it take to encrypt?

Initial installation of the full disk encryption software takes less than a half hour. After initial software installation, the computer will encrypt a spinning hard drive in an average of 8-10 hours and a solid state drive in 1-2 hours, depending on your computer’s hard drive size. You may use your computer while it is encrypting.

Will I need to do anything differently after encryption?

You will not be required to change any behavior. You may notice a Sophos SafeGuard system tray icon appear, but you will not need to change anything you currently do to access or use your computer. On Windows, you will notice that your user icon that is displayed on the login screen has changed to a safe dial icon.

Will Sophos SafeGuard encrypt my Time Machine backup drive?

Note that University policy requires that Legally Restricted Information be encrypted when stored outside of University data centers.  This includes backup data that contains Legally Restricted Information. Sophos SafeGuard Full Disk Encryption will only encrypt internal disks and will not encrypt your Time Machine backup drive. In the event that you need to encrypt your Time Machine backup drive, University IT recommends that you use the built-in encryption ability of Time Machine. This can be done with the following procedure:

  1. Launch System Preferences, then click on the Time Machine icon.
  2. Go to Select Disk and select the disk you’re using for your Time Machine backup.
  3. Check the box next to “Encrypt backup disk” and click the Use Backup Disk button.
  4. Type in a password of your choice. Make sure it’s difficult for others to crack, but easy for you to remember. If you need to restore from your backup in the future and forget this password, you will be unable to restore from the backup.

Will external data devices like flash drives or CDs made from my computer be encrypted?

No, flash drives attached to your computer and CD/DVDs created on your computer will not be encrypted using this technology. Only your internal hard drive will be encrypted. Please take special care when using flash drives and CD/DVD’s to transport sensitive and confidential information.

Will my email be encrypted during this process?

No, email will not be encrypted using full disk encryption. Please take special care when emailing sensitive and confidential information.