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Encryption: Desktops & Laptops, Portable Storage Devices & Mobile Phones Overview


Encryption is a process used to secure data so that only authorized users can access or read the information and is required for all devices that store, process or maintain sensitive data.  

Encryption software will be installed or enabled on University-owned Windows and Mac systems and any USB mass storage devices that connect to them. In addition, University-owned and personal mobile devices will also be encrypted when connecting to University email.


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Desktops & Laptops

Types of Operating Systems:


The process for encrypting requires no effort on your part. Once you reboot the system, the encryption process will begin and can take four to eight hours to complete. You can use the system while it is encrypting but Windows users may experience a temporary slight decrease in performance during that process.

Mac systems that are shared by multiple users will need to have all users configured to access the system. After the encryption software is installed, contact the Technology Support Center at for more details.



Portable Storage Devices


Types of Portage Storage Devices

Portable storage devices, such as flash drives and external hard drives, will require any new or modified files on the device to be encrypted. Symantec provides a utility to manage encrypted files that will be installed on the removable media device automatically once it is connected to an encrypted laptop or desktop. Many media types, such as pictures, videos or audio files, are excluded from encryption. If you do not wish to have any files encrypted on your removable media device, it is strongly recommended you not plug those devices into your machine.

The process for encrypting a USB device is simple. Once the USB device is connected to the encrypted Windows desktop or laptop, all files copied to that device will automatically be encrypted and a single password for the device will be set.

More Information


Mobile Phones

Types of Operating Systems:

When mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, connect to Rowan's Exchange service, they store a local copy of email messages and attachments. In accordance with the University’s information security policies, encryption is mandatory on all mobile devices for users who synchronize their Rowan University email account on their mobile device to minimize security risk in the event of theft or loss.

When the device is encrypted, a PIN will be required both to boot the device and to unlock it.

Encryption is permanent. Once a device is encrypted, only a full device wipe will remove the encryption from the file system.

If a PIN is forgotten, the user will be required to do a factory reset on the device to regain access.



Android users running Android 3.0 or higher will get a prompt to accept the encryption policy.



iPhone users running iOS 5 or higher will need to create a PIN to unlock the device. If a PIN has already been created, no changes will be seen.



Windows mobile users running Windows Phone 8 or higher will also need to create a PIN to unlock the device. If a PIN has already been created, no changes will be seen.