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Step-by-step guide


In order to protect both the privacy of individuals within the university community and the reputation of the university, all employees working with confidential information must take measures to protect information in their care. One measure, to reduce the risk of unintentional information exposure resulting from loss or theft of mobile devices, is to employ encryption.

Laptops/notebooks

Full-disk encryption should be used on all university-owned laptops where confidential data may be stored. If you are using Windows 10  IST recommends enabling BitLocker; on a Mac, FileVault should be enabled.

BlackBerry encryption

Members of the university community that work with confidential data on their BlackBerry devices should enable device encryption, also known as Content Protection, to safeguard information in the event the device is lost or stolen. The specific steps for enabling encryption varies slightly depending on the model. In essence, do the following:

  1. Enable password protection on the device. (a minimum password length of six characters is recommended)
  2. Enable device encryption (may be labelled as Content Protection).

Security features on the BlackBerry device are accessed in the Options -> Security menu or Options -> Security Options menu.

iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch encryption

The operating system for Apple's mobile device portfolio, iOS, offers device encryption at the hardware level referred to as data protection. On supported devices, data protection is enabled when you create a passcode.

Encryption of Android-based devices

Devices based on Android have the capability to support encryption; however, support may vary from device to device. Please check your device documentation or online help for more information.


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Need Help?

Contact the IST Service Desk at helpdesk@uwaterloo.ca or 519-888-4567 ext. 44357.