Encryption is the process of encoding messages or information in such a way that only authorized parties with the correct decryption key can read it. Encryption does not in and of itself prevent interception of information, but it prevents the interceptor from reading it.
When to Encrypt Data
If you are permitted to access sensitive university data on your computer or other devices, you must encrypt your devices.
For your own files that you don't want others to see, consider file encryption to prevent others from accessing those files should your device be lost or stolen. Also delete such files securely when you no longer need them to prevent others from finding traces of them.
How to Encrypt Data
- Encrypt Your Mac with FileVault
- Encrypt Your Windows Computer With BitLocker
- Use Encrypted Thumb Drives
Why You Should Encrypt Your Data
Encryption protects confidential data from unauthorized disclosure, and may save you the cost and embarrassment of having to notify potentially affected individuals if your mobile device is lost, stolen or confiscated.
Due to the high costs and negative publicity of notification, along with the potential fines and legal ramifications associated with a sensitive data breach, encryption of sensitive data is often cost justified. When properly implemented, encryption is recognized as a adequate protection, exempting you from most notification laws if a device sensitive data is lost or stolen.