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IT News

ITS-supported computers will have hard drives remotely encrypted this summer

As part of the ongoing effort to strengthen security and protect WVU information, all computers supported by ITS will have their hard drives remotely encrypted. This upgrade will begin June 25 and continue throughout the summer. This process will not impact the day-to-day usability of your machine.

On Windows computers, users may be alerted that encryption has started, but the upgrade will take place in the background. On macOS computers, users will be prompted to enable encryption, but they may temporarily delay the required restart.

Encrypting hard drives provides an invisible, strong layer of protection to University data, including personal, financial and sensitive information. If your device is lost or stolen, encryption will prevent the data you have stored on that machine from being accessed without proper credentials. Encryption also protects against unauthorized tampering with University equipment, requiring a recovery key if changes are made to a machine’s hardware.

If you attempt to modify your computer’s hardware or forgot your password, you may be prompted to enter a “recovery key” to unlock the device. Recovery keys are codes that may be obtained by contacting the ITS Service Desk at 304-293-4444. On Windows, users may also access recovery keys through Bitlocker’s Self Service site: https://bitlocker.wvu.edu/SelfService.

This change does not affect the Beckley or Keyser campuses. If you are in a college or department with its own IT staff, please direct questions about encryption to them. If your unit is supported by ITS, direct questions or concerns to ITSHelp@mail.wvu.edu.