What is encryption?

Encryption is a method of preventing unauthorized access to electronic data. Encryption is imperative for securing your documents and allows for peace of mind if a computer is misplaced, lost or stolen.

What happens when a laptop is encrypted?

Encryption is the process of scrambling information, making it unreadable in order to protect it from unauthorized access. When information is encrypted, you need authorized access to make it readable.

Why should laptops be encrypted?

In order to protect both the privacy of individuals within the University community and the reputation of the University, all employees must take measures to protect information in their care. One measure, to reduce the risk of unintentional information exposure is to employ encryption.

Full-disk encryption should be used on all University-owned laptops or notebooks by default. If you are using Windows 10, IST recommends enabling BitLocker; on a Mac, FileVault should be enabled.

Encryption overview for Windows

For Windows laptops/notebooks we use BitLocker Drive Encryption and Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring (MBAM). IST can perform laptop encryption on University-owned laptops running Windows. New IST managed laptops are encrypted before they are deployed.

Who can use this service:

  • Staff
  • IT Support Staff

How to request this service:

Average length of time to complete request:

2 working days.

Support for this service:

BitLocker information (including how to Recover your key)

BitLocker Windows Laptop/Notebook encryption


No cost.


EC2 - East Campus 2
200 University Ave West