Protect USB drives

UWE Bristol's encryption solution is Microsoft's BitLocker. BitLocker Drive Encryption is a data protection feature that integrates with the operating system and addresses the threats of data theft or exposure from lost, stolen, or inappropriately decommissioned computers.


1.   To encrypt a USB storage device using BitLocker, right click on the icon for the device in the “My computer” menu and select “Turn on BitLocker…”

Bitlocker step 1

2.   You will be prompted for a password which you will use to decrypt the device and access your files in the future. To ensure your data is properly protected, choose a strong password.

3.   Once you have confirmed the settings, BitLocker will begin encrypting your USB device. This may take some time, but you should not remove the USB device before encryption is complete – otherwise the files on the device may become corrupted.

4.   When the message below appears, the drive is now encrypted and safe to use.

5.   When the encrypted drive is inserted into a computer, it must be unlocked using the password before any data can be accessed.

6.   Once the device has been successfully unlocked then data stored on it can be accessed as normal.

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