What is encryption?
Encryption is a systematic way of scrambling the information on a device or hard drive to prevent unwanted access to that information in the event that the device is lost or stolen. Windows computers use BitLocker to fully encrypt the hard drive. Macs use FileVault to fully encrypt the hard drive.
Why must I encrypt my data?
Queen's University policy indicates that computers and devices that contain, or may contain, sensitive data must be encrypted. This is to prevent unwanted access to that data if the device is lost or stolen. University data must be protected.
To learn more about why encrypting university data is so important, please read this memo:
How do I encrypt my data?
You have two options for encrypting your computer's hard drive:
- Option 1 - We do it for you! The IT Support Centre offers a free Encryption Service to help faculty and staff encrypt your computer's hard drive. Please contact the IT Support Centre by calling 613-533-6666 during regular business hours, or by filling out the online help form.
- Option 2 - Do it yourself! Please start here to determine your system requirements and then follow the applicable tutorial.
Who Can Have It?
- This service is available to Queen's staff and faculty.
- In order to be encrypted, your computer must meet certain system requirements.
Are There Any Costs?
- This service is provided at no cost to Queen's staff and faculty.
How Do I Get It?
- Contact the IT Support Centre by calling 613-533-6666 during business hours, or
- by filling out the Online Help Form.
How Do I Discontinue It?
- Once a computer or device is encrypted, it should always remain encrypted.
What if I Leave Queens?
- Any staff or faculty departing from Queen's will no longer be eligible for this service.
The Encryption Service includes the following, to be performed by an IT Support Centre technician:
- configure eligible computer for encryption;
- help user backup their recovery keys; and
- explain how to use encrypted computer and recovery keys.
Note: The person requesting this service must be present during the onsite call to provide login credentials and to receive and store the recovery key.
Encryption is primarily used to secure sensitive data that is stored locally on a computer. You can greatly reduce the need to encrypt your computer by:
- using webmail for email;
- using an encrypted USB flash drive to store and/or transport sensitive data;
- storing files on a network drive provided by ITS Active Directory Service;
- using Remote Access Service for off-campus access to your network drives; and
- using QShare for off-campus access to files.
- The targeted availability of this service is 24 hours a day, seven days a week (24x7).
- Standard Hours of Operation
Service Level Objectives
Please see the links below for Service Level Objectives:
- Backup, Recovery, Archiving and Retention
- Facilities Management Page
- Service Interruption and Restoration
Governing IT Policies
Users of this service are governed by the following policies. Failure to comply may result, at a minimum, with suspension of service:
- Electronic Information Security Policy Framework
- Electronic Information Security Guidelines (A5. Encryption)