Laptop Encryption FAQs
Frequently asked questions
Do I need to encrypt my laptop?
This depends on who owns the laptop. If the laptop is issued by The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, then the laptop must be encrypted.
If the laptop was purchased by you with your own funds or by a third party (a non-university entity), the laptop must be encrypted if you perform any official university business, or business on behalf of the university, using your laptop and university-sensitive information is stored on the device.
If you use a local email client to check your university email and the messages are stored on your laptop, it must be encrypted.
However, if you use owa.uthscsa.edu to check your email, or you use VPN and screen sharing/remote desktop to check your email, your laptop does not have to be encrypted.
How do I determine whether my laptop is already encrypted?
You can check your encryption status by following a list of steps that have been compiled for your convenience.
I have confirmed my laptop is not yet encrypted, so what are the minimum software requirements that must be in place before it can be encrypted?
A short checklist has been compiled to determine the right encryption solution for your laptop.
My laptop doesn't meet the minimum requirements or I'm not sure if it does. Who can help me with this?
Your Technical Support Representative (TSR) should be your first point of contact for checking whether your laptop can be encrypted or for getting it upgraded to meet minimum requirements. If your department has a service agreement with IMS for computer support, you or your TSR can contact the Service Desk at 210-567-7777, option 1 to submit a service request for technical support staff to perform this evaluation. Additionally, they can also determine if a hardware or software upgrade is required.
NOTE: Some of the university's software (primarily Microsoft products) is covered under an enterprise agreement and laptops using these applications can usually be upgraded at no cost. Other software (Apple, for instance) require a nominal charge to purchase a license to complete the upgrade. The Service Desk can provide more information.
What if my laptop is too old to be encrypted?
If the laptop's age prevents it from being encrypted, options are very limited and generally involve replacing the laptop and removing the old one from inventory. Review the encryption guidelines for more information about your operating system.