Full Disk Encryption

Full disk encryption is a security concept intended to protect the data on a computer while it is at rest. This is particularly useful in case a computer is lost or stolen. Even if your device ends up in a malicious actor's hands, your private data won't be. Having your computer encrypted could also protect both you and the University from liability if you keep legally sensitive data on your device

At USD, we encrypt our Mac and Windows computers using the technologies built into each operating system. Doing so allows us to centrally manage and store the recovery information, should disaster strike. Please see the links below for more information.

Encryption Technologies Used at USD

Microsoft BitLocker
Apple FileVault

Getting Started with Encryption

To see about getting your computer encrypted, please contact the help desk so that they may evaluate your device's eligibility. Once that is done, they can set your device up to sync with the system and begin encrypting.
  • Windows Process
  • Mac Process

What to know while it's encrypting

Encryption is a low-priority process that happens in the background while the device is plugged into power. You can safely sleep, restart, or log out of the computer without disrupting the process and will pause and restart itself without the need for intervention. 

The time that it takes to do this depends on the capacity of the storage drives inside the computer and on how fast the computer and drives are. For most people, the initial encryption takes several hours but does not substantially impact performance. However, some users have noted that their computers become very slow during the initial encryption; fortunately, normal performance returns once the existing files are encrypted.