System and Backup Encryption for Windows 10 and macOS

What is Drive Encryption?

  • Drive encryption scrambles your files so that noone else can read them – except the person with the password or recovery key.
  • This is usually done transparently. You use your computer normally, your files will be encrypted and protected.
  • Drive encryption is not supported by all operating systems or computer hardware.

Pros of Using Encryption

  • Protect your files in case your device is lost or stolen. The theif will not be able to read your files, keeping your info safe.
  • Protects against some kinds of malware

Cons of Using Encryption

  • If you lose your password and/or recovery key, you lose access to all of the files on your drive.
  • Your device may run marginally slower.


  • If you’re using drive encryption, also keep a backup of your files either on Ondrive or dropbox, or on a device you keep unencrypted and stored in a very safe place (like a safe). You should be doing this anyway – it’s best practice to keep a copy of your important data in at least 3 separate places.
  • Keep your recovery key in a safe place too, or make it something very memorable that someone is unlikely to be able to guess.



  • Windows 10’s Bitlocker Drive Encryption is only available in the Professional version of the operating system, and is not included in the Home version.
  • If you are using Windows 10 Home wish to use drive encryption, you’ll need to upgrade your version of Windows
  • In typical Microsoft fashion, they do not provice a simple tutorial on how to use this feature. PCWorld have put together a good article on Bitlocker, including a tutorial, linked below.
  • Article: A beginner’s guide to BitLocker, Windows’ built-in encryption tool



Portable Drives

If this seems like too much to deal with, consider hiring a tech support provider who can encrypt your systems, and manage recovery options for you. It protects your files and gives you peace of mind at a reasonable cost. Losing your data could result in identity theft, loss of privacy, and loss of important memories, photos, and correspondence.

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