BitLocker Windows Laptop or Notebook encryption

BitLocker is Microsoft’s encryption program for Windows, used to encrypt your hard drive and help protect your files and folders from unauthorized access. It also protects against unauthorized changes to your system, such as firmware-level malware.

In order to protect both the privacy of individuals within the UWaterloo community and the reputation of UWaterloo, all laptops/notebooks should be encrypted. 

New IST managed machines are encrypted before they are deployed.

How does BitLocker work?

With BitLocker installed everything happens in the background, invisible to the user. BitLocker checks the computer during startup for any conditions that could represent a security risk (for example, a change to the BIOS or changes to any startup files). If a potential security risk is detected, BitLocker will lock the operating system drive and require a special BitLocker recovery key to unlock it.

BitLocker recovery keys are self-serve (see the article How to Recover your BitLocker Key) or users can contact the IST Service Desk.

Is your Laptop/Notebook encrypted?

You can verify that BitLocker is turned on by the lock icon on the drive when you open "This PC" in File Explorer.

If it's not encrypted contact your Computer Support Rep:

or the IST Service Desk for assistance.

Need help?

Contact the IST Service Desk online or 519-888-4567 ext. 44357.

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