Encryption is a means of protecting information by converting it from a comprehensible form to a format that cannot be understood unless the individual has the specific knowledge or technology to unlock or convert the information to its readable form. Encryption has long been used for messages in transit, but it now serves as a method to protect stored information on a laptop in case of loss or theft.
Whole Disk Encryption
Whole disk encryption prevents unauthorized access to the data stored on your computer by other individuals. Similar to a lock on your front door, logging in to your system unlocks it and allows access to the data. When your system is not logged in or turned off, your system is “locked” from access. In the event that a computer is lost or stolen, the data contained on it is protected from disclosure. OISS advises all faculty and staff using Windows to install Credant on their laptop. If you are a faculty member or staff you can have the software installed free of charge. If you would like to have Credant installed on your laptop contact the Technology HelpDesk by submitting a ticket at www.bsu.edu/helpdesk, or calling 765-285-1517. Mac users using OS X Lion and OS X Recovery can use FileVault 2. It should be noted that OS X Lion’s Recovery HD remains unencrypted, so anyone can boot to the Recovery partition at any time.
Single Document/File Encryption
When an individual wishes to encrypt a single file there are a few options. Most encryption software has the ability to encrypt a document/file by using a password or other key. This approach can aid against data disclosure on a lost or stolen computer, but only if all the private information was encrypted. The following are single document/file encryption software that is available on campus.
Microsoft Office (2010 or later)
FileVault (Mac OS X 10.7 or later)