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 if your mobile device is lost, stolen or confiscated. You have a responsibility to protect university data in accordance with university IT policy.
Due to the potential impact on individuals—as well as the high costs and negative publicity of required notification and the potential fines and legal ramifications—of a sensitive data breach, encryption of sensitive data is important. When properly implemented, encryption is recognized as adequate protection, resulting in exemption from most notification laws if a device with sensitive data is lost or stolen.