Why is encryption vital?
At UBC, we are responsible for a significant amount of personal and health information about students, faculty, staff, and patients. Regulatory and legal requirements mandate that we protect the privacy and security of this information, and encryption is one of the best ways to do that.
What does encryption do?
On unencrypted computers, transferring the hard drive to another computer, allows a thief to bypass computer logon passwords. Encryption “scrambles” the contents of a computer hard drive and is difficult to bypass.
What devices do I need to encrypt?
It is UBC policy that all mobile devices that store personal information be encrypted, as they are particularly vulnerable to loss or theft. These devices include: laptop computers, tablet computers, smartphones, USB keys, and portable hard drives. We also recommend encrypting desktop computers that store personal information.
Note: iPhones with iOS 8 or later are already encrypted
How do I encrypt my computer?
If Psychiatry IT maintains your computer (macOS or Windows):
Please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) to have existing computers encrypted. You will be without your computer for 15 minutes to 24 hours (depending on hardware features and the size of your hard drive).
Psychiatry IT will be encrypting all computers that we prepare, in the future.
If you maintain your own computer, it is up to you to encrypt it yourself.
- For macOS: use the built in FileVault software
- Computers with business versions of Microsoft Windows: use the built in BitLocker software
- If your Windows version (e.g. most Windows 7) doesn’t include BitLocker: we recommend VeraCrypt
How do I use an encrypted computer?
For most business computers, manufactured in the last 5 years, there is no difference in how you use the computer.
Consumer quality and older computers will require entry of an additional password, when you start the computer. It is VITAL that you do not keep the encryption password with the computer, or it will defeat the purpose of the encryption.
Please contact us at Psychiatry.IT@ubc.ca or 604-827-5695, if you have any questions.