We often receive questions about encryption for Apple devices. That’s why we’re starting FAQ sessions, where we answer some of the most commonly asked questions we’ve received. We hope our answers help you in some way!
This article will cover questions specifically about FileVault and encryption, so keep reading to see how your school or district can benefit from taking advantage of this important feature for security.
Encryption is a form of data protection that encodes information as to prevent it being accessed by unauthorized users. FileVault is a built-in encryption feature that keeps your information safe by taking security to the next level. It’s important to enable FileVault if privacy is an important factor for your school. FileVault helps ensure security for the school, the teachers, students, staff and the devices through encryption by offering password-protection for your data. We recommend using FileVault if you’re looking to enhance and strengthen security.
Important note: FileVault 2 is available with OS X Lion or later.
The System Admin can enable FileVault on a Mac computer by opening the Apple menu and navigating to System Preferences. Next, click on Security & Privacy > FileVault and click on the lock icon. Then, enter your admin credentials and click Turn On FilVault. Now, you can select the user accounts for which you’d like to enable FileVault. According to Apple Support, any user accounts added after you’ve turned on FileVault are “automatically enabled.”
Once FileVault is enabled on your Mac computer, existing data is encrypted. The new files you create will also be encrypted and saved to your startup disk automatically. When an employee tries to access any new or changed data, you will have to first enter a password. Encryption is a background process.
The Recovery Key is an important piece when it comes to using FileVault. If you forget the password for the account, you can use the Recovery Key to save your data. It’s imperative that you hold onto the Recovery Key because if you lose the Recovery Key, you will lose all the data that you have encrypted. To change the Recovery Key, you can turn off FileVault and turn it back on. A new key will be generated.
When using an Apple mobile device management (MDM) solution, there are specific features that allow you to use FileVault for your entire fleet of Apple devices. Mosyle Manager, an MDM solution made for K-12 schools, gives you the ability to configure a management profile specifically for FileVault. There are specific options, such as ones for the Recovery Key, so you can customize the profile based on your needs. Once the Security & Privacy profiles are configured, assign the devices and users to apply the security policies onto the Mac computers.
We hope this helps answer some of the questions you had about FileVault and security for Apple devices. If you have any other questions, let us know by sending us a message!
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