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Encryption for laptops and other portable devices
All staff working for, or on behalf of, the University must adhere to the Policy for Information Security on laptops and portable media, which is intended to ensure that any information used or accessed by staff is protected against unauthorised access or modification when stored or accessed on any portable device or medium.
Encryption for laptop, notebook and netbook computers
All University-owned staff laptop, notebook and netbook computers that meet the criteria set out in the Policy for Information Security on laptops and portable media must be encrypted.
The currently recommended product for the encryption of Windows XP laptops is TrueCrypt. We recommend BitLocker for the encryption of Windows Vista and Windows 7 laptops.
Please be aware of this important information for users of TrueCrypt on Windows laptops.
Recommended encryption options for Apple Macintoshes are FileVault 2 (which is included in OS X 10.7 Lion) and TrueCrypt for Mac OS X. We recommend LUKS and TrueCrypt for Linux. Pre-boot authentication should be activated if possible.
All new laptops purchased through Academic Services are now supplied with encryption pre-installed and enabled. You will be asked to set a strong password. The strength of a password depends on its length, complexity and randomness. The password should be at least 12 characters long and the recommended length is 20 characters. To make the password easy to remember it can be based on the first letters of the words in a poem or song, with numbers and/or symbols added. Simple strings of keyboard letters (eg qwertyuiop), usernames, words and names should not be used (even spelled backwards).
Existing University-owned staff laptops can be encrypted by one of the following routes:
- Colleges and Services supported by Academic Services can make a request through the IT Help Desk. Encryption is normally carried out at the weekend
- In other Colleges, local IT support staff are expected to carry out the process using these instructions for TrueCrypt installation and deployment
It is vital to remember the password for any encrypted laptop. If the password is forgotten, it may be impossible to access the data stored on the device.
Encryption for mobile devices
Some mobile devices (eg iPhones (3GS and above) and iPads) provide hardware encryption. The strength of the passcode depends on its length, complexity and randomness. You should set a passcode of at least 8 characters consisting of letters in both upper and lower case, numbers and punctuation characters.
We recommend the use of software encryption on mobile devices that do not provide hardware encryption.