Encryption Services FAQs

About McAfee and Whole Disk Encryption | Installing and Upgrading McAfee Encryption | Passwords and Security Questions | USB Stick/Drive Encryption


About McAfee and Whole Disk Encryption

If you are a UBC IT Desktop Services supported client please submit a ticket to the UBC IT Service Centre.

If you get IT support from your departmental IT group, please ask them to put in a request for access to the McAfee service.

Yes, McAfee encryption requires a client to be installed on your computer.

No, if you use a defrag tool while encrypted there is a high probability that your encryption will break, making your PC inaccessible. If you are using native encryption you may use a 3rd party defrag tool providing it is supported by your OS.

McAfee WDE Solution
When you boot your computer, you will have to login using the passphrase which you setup during the first login into the McAfee login screen.

During the initial setup and encryption you may notice a slight degradation in speed, but your machine will return to normal once the encryption process is completed.

McAfee MNE (Native Encryption) Solution:
If you are using the Native Encryption solution, there will be little to no impact on your client machines. During the initial setup and encryption you may notice a slight degradation in speed, but your machine will return to normal once the encryption process is completed.

Yes, you will still be able to use your computer as normal. An internet connection is only required for updating policy with the McAfee server and if new users need to be added.

McAfee WDE Solution:
No. After you have logged into the McAfee login screen, all your files and applications, including email and network connections are unaffected.

McAfee MNE (Native Encryption) Solution:
Because clients are running native encryption there will be no impact on programs. If the application is supported on the OS you are running, then it should still be supported after encryption is enabled. Check with your program’s compatibility list if there are issues.

No. After you log in, McAfee automatically decrypts your files as you use them. Any files that you use, send or backup will not be encrypted.

This feature is currently not enabled.

Yes, it is compatible with Sophos Antivirus.

Yes, you can update your systems to the most recent point releases. However, prior to upgrading to a full release update such as OS X 10.10, you should first contact your IT support group to confirm that these updates are supported by McAfee Native Encryption.

Yes, there are no issues with hibernation or standby.

No, the imaging of encrypted drives will not work because the data will not be readable by the Imaging software.

Yes. However, if the computer is off or locked at the McAfee login screen you will not be able to log in.

Yes, there is an option to bypass the McAfee login screen upon reboot. However this setting is applied through the McAfee server which is managed by your IT department.

If you are having issues with encrypting your device, please contact the IT Service Centre.

Installing and Upgrading McAfee Encryption

To check if your computer is encrypted, please refer to the guides provided in this Knowledgebase Article.

UBC IT supports the use of McAfee on Windows and Mac computers. Supported OS’ include:

  • Windows 7 and above
  • Mac OSX  10.8.2 and above

If you are running a Linux device and require encryption, please contact the IT Service Centre.

Bootcamped computers are not supported, however the OSX partition can be encrypted via FileVault. Please note that this will only secure a portion of the data.

McAfee MNE Products may be used to manage native encryption for Apple FileVault on Macs and Microsoft BitLocker on Windows. Please note that Microsoft BitLocker may only be used with devices that have a TPM chipset.

There are no prerequisites for installing McAfee encryption, however it is suggested that all updates are applied prior to enabling encryption.

On Mac computers, please check the website to confirm supported versions of OS X prior to applying updates.

No, all options and policies are controlled through the ePO server and as such, changes are only made through the server and not the client.

Generally, complete encryption of a hard drive will take between 4-12 hours. The actual time required to encrypt a device depends very much on the hardware specifications of the device in question.

Keep in mind that you will not need to keep your computer on for this whole time as McAfee will pick up where it left off as soon as the computer is turned back on.

Because McAfee encryption users are added to the machine through the server there is no need to worry about which account the software was installed on.

In the event that another user needs to be added, please contact the IT Service Centre and someone will assist with adding the new user.

No, McAfee encryption licenses are not based on the number of users.

The computer that has encryption installed will take 1 license no matter the number of users who utilize the device.

Passwords and Security Questions

The first time you log in to McAfee, you will need to log in with your CWL username.

Once you enter your CWL username, you will immediately be prompted to create a password.

We recommend that you use the same password as your CWL login, as this password matches the standards laid out by the university.

No, you do not need to be connected to the network when logging into the McAfee login screen.

USB Stick/Drive Encryption

We don’t advise encrypting a USB device if it already has data on it. The process will work best if you back up the existing files on a separate device, format it, and then restore your data back to the original device.

If you encrypt the USB stick/drive using the McAfee product, then you can use it on both Mac and Windows. In order to do this you will need to use the supplied application that is automatically stored within the non-encrypted workspace of the device when you encrypt it with McAfee.

For classroom computers: It is recommended to use UBC Workspace, Home Drive, or Teamshare in those cases.
For podium computers: If you do not have personal information on the device, then an unencrypted USB stick/drive can be used. If personal information is stored on the USB, then it must be encrypted. Whenever it is necessary to use an encrypted USB stick/drive with a podium computer, always test the functionality in advance, in order to ensure that the USB is readable.

Yes, McAfee has the capability to encrypt USB thumb drives on Windows based computers.