Encrypt Your Data and Devices

What Is Encryption?

Encryption is the process of encoding messages or information in such a way that only authorized people with the correct decryption key can read it. Encryption does not in and of itself prevent others from getting the information, but it can prevent them from reading it. To benefit from encryption, you must set your devices to require a password, passcode, or other authorization to be unlocked. 

Why Encryption Is Needed

Encryption helps protect confidential data from unauthorized disclosure if the device it is stored on or accessed from is lost, stolen, or confiscated. You have a responsibility to protect university data by using encryption in accordance with the U-M IT standard Encryption (DS-15)

Encrypt Devices

Personal Devices

Given the importance of encryption and a growing recognition of the need for privacy, some device manufacturers have begun enabling encryption of mobile devices automatic. For example, iOS devices use encryption automatically, as do some newer Android mobile devices. For laptops and some other devices, you may need to turn encryption on yourself.

U-M Devices

  • MiWorkspace. MiWorkspace-managed laptops are encrypted. Neighborhood IT staff can assist with encypting other devices as needed.
  • Michigan Medicine. Health Information Technology & Services provides devices to Michigan Medicine faculty and staff and is primarily responsible for the maintenance and security standards of those devices, including encryption.
  • UM-Flint. Windows laptops provided and managed by U-M Flint ITS come with Microsoft bitlocker encryption enabled.
  • Unit-Managed Devices. Please contact your unit's IT staff if you need assistance with encryption.

Encrypt Data

Your Own Files

Consider file encryption to prevent others from accessing your personal data. Remember to:

U-M Data on Personal Devices

  • Do not store U-M data classified as Restricted on personal devices.
  • Encryption required. If you are permitted to access or store university data classified as High on personal devices, you must encrypt those devices.
  • Encryption recommended. If you are permitted to access or store university data classified as Moderate or Low on personal devices, it is recommended that you encrypt those devices.