Encrypting your home folder on your Macintosh computer
University policy require that computers which may contain patient information,
financial information, or any other sensitive University business data be
encrypted. To comply with these requirements, please use the following
instructions. For assistance for this specific aspect of a Mactintosh computer,
please e-mail email@example.com. Other Macintosh support is available through
recharge services on campus or through the School of Medicine.
You can turn on FileVault to encrypt the information in your home folder.
Encryption scrambles the data in your home folder so that unauthorized users,
applications, or utilities cannot access your data.
You must be an administrator on your computer to set up FileVault and turn on
FileVault for your home folder.
When you turn on FileVault for the first time, your home folder is encrypted.
While your home folder is being encrypted, you will not be able to log in to your
account or use your computer to do other tasks. The process could take a while,
depending on how much information you have in your home folder.
Before you begin, make sure you have enough empty space on the disk that
contains your home folder. You need as least as much space as your home
folder takes up. For example, if your home folder is 20 MB, make sure you have
at least 20 MB of free space available. This space is needed temporarily during
WARNING: You must create a master password that acts as a safety net in case
you forget your regular login password. If you can't remember either of these
passwords, the information in your home folder will be lost forever.
When you drag files into the trash and then empty it, the data of the files may
remain on the hard disk for quite a time and certain tools can recover this
information. To insure you data is cleaned out and can never be recovered,
FileVault can do a secure erase when you remove files. Secure erase actually
overwrites the files that are deleted, destroying all the data from the files.
To set up FileVault on your computer:
• Choose Apple menu > System Preferences
• Click Security.
• If the Security preferences pane shows that a master password has not
been set, click Set Master Password and type a password in the Master
• Type the password again in the Verify box.
• Type a hint in the Hint box to help you remember the password.
• Click OK.
• To be compliant with UCSD Minimum Security Requirements,
configure the following:
o Check “Require password to wake this computer from sleep or
o Under ”For all accounts on this computer:” Check the following:
Disable automatic login
Log out after 20 minutes of inactivity
Use secure virtual memory
Turning on File Vault:
• Click "Turn on FileVault" and read the message that appears. If you want
to be sure your deleted files can never be recovered, click "Use secure
• Click "Turn on FileVault" in the dialog, or click Cancel to stop.
You are logged out of your account during the encryption process. When the
encryption process is finished, log back in to your account. Your home folder icon
changes to show that it is protected by FileVault.