What types of computers can be encrypted?

Bitlocker Drive Encryption (Windows) and FileVault 2 Encryption (OSX) can be installed and centrally managed on the following operating systems:

  • Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10
  • Mac OS X 10.10, 10.11, 10.12 and 10.13

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.

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.

Will FileVault 2 automatically 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. FileVault 2 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 by following Apple’s, Keep Your Time Machine Backup Disk Secure” procedure.


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.