How to Enable Disk Encryption on Mac and Windows O.S.

Disk encryption is a must these days. It’s not enough for you to just have your data encrypted while it’s being transferred over the internet, but also when it’s at rest on your hard drive.

Disk encryption is the process of transforming all of your data into an unreadable format and then storing it in an encrypted form so that only authorized users can decrypt and view its contents. This blog post will show you how to enable disk encryption on MAC and Windows O.S. with ease.

How do I Enable Disk Encryption on a Mac?

Step 1: Open up System Preferences and click “Security & Privacy.”

Step 2: Click the lock icon, then enter your user name and password when prompted. 

Step 3: Select the FileVault tab.

Step 4: Click “Turn On FileVault”. Disk encryption should now be enabled on Mac OS. If prompted, store your encryption key in a safe place, like a password manager. 

Apple recommends the following ways to retrieve your encryption key and reset your password in case you forget:

  • If you’re using OS X Yosemite or later, choose to use iCloud FileVault for recovery.
  • If you don’t want to use iCloud FileVault for recovery, create a local backup of your password. Keep the letters and numbers somewhere safe—other than on any computer that has been encrypted with Apple’s software. You can also store it in a password manager. 
  • For those who are not on a newer operating system like Mavericks, create a local key by providing answers to three security questions that will be easy for you to recall.

Encrypted data can only be decrypted with the correct key. If ever asked, FileVault 2 (available on newer Macs) uses  XTS-AES-128 encryption with a 256-bit key.

How do I Enable Disk Encryption on Windows?

If you have a newer Windows 10 machine that’s running Windows Pro or Enterprise, you’ll have access to a program called BitLocker, which will enable you to encrypt your device. Follow the steps below to get started. 

Enabling Disk Encryption with BitLocker

Step 1: Start by going to Settings -> Updates & Security -> Device Encryption.

Step 2: Once here, click on Turn on Device Encryption. If you do not see these settings, you either 1. Need to search for BitLocker or 2. Do not have access to device encryption because your computer is on Windows 10 Home, not pro or enterprise. 

Step 3: Search for BitLocker by going to Start -> and entering in Bitlocker in the search window.  Select “Manage BitLocker,” as shown below.

Step 4: Select “Turn on BitLocker” and follow the instructions to secure your computer. 

Step 5: Choose how you’d like to back up the security key. We recommend keeping it in the cloud. 

Step 6: Select whether you want the encryption to take care of the entire disk or just the used space. We recommend you to encrypt the entire disk. 

You should be good to go at that point. Note that the disk encryption process will take some time.

Again, if you’re not seeing any options to encrypt your device, you may be on Windows 10 Home edition. If this is you, feel free to email us at [email protected] if you need help! 

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