How to Encrypt Files on Your Mac
Perhaps your computer is shared, or you’re just a stickler for keeping everything locked-up in case you misplace your Macbook. There are a number of different reasons to encrypt your files, and we’re going to show you how it’s done properly. Directly through Apple’s support on their website, they personally recommend the solution to your problem, and today, we’re going to explore FileVault.
What Is FileVault?
You’re looking to encrypt, but you’re not a computer whiz. It’s okay. FileVault is here to take the mumbo-jumbo guesswork out of the equation for you. FileVault encrypts your disk in Mac OS X 10.3 and later versions, disallowing foreign access to your startup disk right from the get-go. Use your FileVault credentials at startup to gain access to add, delete, and edit your encrypted files all without being overly-complicated.
FileVault popped-up on the internet back in 2011, and thankfully, it’s stuck around. Like many digital services that assist with the inner components of your Mac, they don’t always last. FileVault has proven it’s an invaluable tool that will be around for ages to come.
How Do You Use FileVault?
When you install FileVault, you’ll be amazed at how automated it truly is. Go to your Apple menu, then to System Preferences, and Security and Privacy. You’ll be able to see a newly-populated field that’s specific to FileVault, and you’ll want to click the Lock button. This is where you’ll get information regarding your usage and how to stop any processes if need be.
Does FileVault Slow Down Your Mac?
While one would think that an integrated and intense service like FileVault would slow down your Mac, but this is not the case, it doesn't run consistently in the background, not at full capacity, anyway. When you want to encrypt files or use automated features to encrypt new files that spawn on your computer, FileVault will get to work. It will run, take up what necessary CPU it needs to, and dwindle back down to simply waiting in the background. The short answer: yes, it can slow your Mac down, though not constantly.
Why Should I Encrypt My Files?
While a lot of people have their own reasons for encrypting their files, the most common reason is sensitive or classified data. If you work for a company that deals with sensitive information, this could be a requirement in and of itself, and they may even administer a FileVault account to their employees for protection purposes; companies all over the world trust FileVault.
If you’re just looking to encrypt your personal files, and it isn’t work-related, it could be wise to do so. When hackers are on the hunt for information, they’ll target the obvious, such as bank statements, financial records, and anything that could be picked up as a card number. It only takes a minute for hackers to absorb information from your computer and be gone practically without a trace, but when you’re utilizing FileVault, your sensitive information will be locked up tight.
The Final Word on FileVault
Everyone should encrypt their sensitive data, and the easiest way to do this is using a premier service like FileVault. When it comes down to it, it’s a great service that is relatively easy to use, even for a complete computer novice. If you’ve made the switch from PC to Mac, the whole interface change can seem daunting. Don’t hesitate; use FileVault to protect all your files today.