Encrypting your Mac using FileVault


Self Encrypt your MAC

Encrypting your Mac using FileVault 2

Encrypting your Mac using the built-in Filevault 2 encryption software.

If you do not wish to have your Mac's encryption keys managed by UBC, you can turn on the built-in encryption software in Mac OS X using these instructions.

Methodology

IMPORTANT:
Prior to encrypting, please backup all important data files. Make sure you have a least two current backups.

Encrypting

On the main Mac desktop, do the following:
  1. Click on System Preferences located on the Dock
  2. Select Security & Privacy
  3. Select FileVault. Click the lock in the bottom left to make changes.
  4. Turn On FileVault
  5. When prompted, select "Create a recovery key and do not use my iCloud account". Save the recovery key on removable electronic media (USB, external hard drive) or physical media (write it down, print it out). Store the recovery key somewhere safe and separate from your computer
  6. Select the users you want to be able to decrypt the computer. This can be modified later.
  7. Restart your computer and log in. The encryption should begin.

Backups

It is especially important to have current backups after you have encrypted your computer because if you experience any corruption on your drive, recovery is not likely.

Time Capsule Backups

When switching a Time Capsule or network backup disk from unencrypted to encrypted, your existing backups are erased and new encrypted backup sets are created. When you switch locally connected disks (such as external disk) to encrypted backups, your data is preserved and encrypted.

If you want to change from unencrypted to encrypted backups, you must remove your backup disk and then set it up again.

Decrypting

If at some future date, you wish to unencrypt your Mac, do the following:
  1. Click on System Preferences located on the Dock
  2. Select Security & Privacy
  3. Select FileVault. Click the lock in the bottom left to make changes. 
  4. Turn off FileVault
  5. Restart your computer and log in. The decryption should begin.
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