Use FileVault to Encrypt Data
FileVault is encryption built into Mac OS and protects your data if your computer is lost or stolen. Mac OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and below encrypts the entire user's folder, while 10.7 (Lion) encrypts the entire disk. CUS recommends FileVault for users running Mac OS 10.6 and above.
Note: Consult with CUS before turning on FileVault. Some precautions, like having good backups, are necessary before enabling it.
Get to the Filevault settings by selecting apple menu > system preferences > security (the grey house with the lock, in the top row of icons).
Next, select "Turn on Filevault" to begin using Filevault to encrypt your data. This process will take some time, as Filevault goes through your home folder and encrypts everything. Make sure you have a good amount of hard drive space available before running Filevault, as its encryption and decryption behaviors require more space than a normal unencrypted file.
Setting up a Master Password
Select "change..." or "create" next to the master password setting. Choose a different password than your login for maximum security. This Master Password is what you'll use to unlock any account on the computer - a safety feature in case other, specific, passwords are lost.
WARNING: if you lose or forget this master password, not even CUS can help you recover it. Be thoughtful about turning on FileVault, and be sure to store your Master Password somewhere secure, so you won't face the inability to access your data!
- Choose Apple menu > System Preferences and click Security.
- Click "Turn off FileVault."
- Type your login password and click Continue.
- Read the message that appears and click "Turn off FileVault" to continue, or click Cancel to stop.