Should You Use FileVault Disk Encryption? Yes, And Here’s Why

Is FileVault disk encryption worth using? Should you worry about using it? If you want to protect all of your data on your hard drive, then yes. FileVault is a helpful feature if you travel a lot or tend to use public WiFi. It’s the best way to keep your data safe and encrypted on a Mac.

According to the most recent data, 53 million people were affected by data compromises in 2022. This includes data exposure, data leakage, and data breaches. We live in a world where it’s just not safe to connect to any random WiFi. In many cases, connecting to your own WiFi is unsafe. This is why Apple has included FileVault in every Mac Computer since 2003. With FileVault, you can protect all the data on your computer automatically. Enabling you the chance to go out into the world without caring about any digital consequences.

What is FileVault?

FileVault is macOS’s built-in disk encryption feature that encrypts your Mac’s files on the hard drive. It does this by using a 128-bit AES encryption with a 256-bit key. If you turn on FileVault on your Mac, it will encrypt everything that has been written to disk previously. Any new or modified information will be instantly secured and password-protected. Apple’s name for disk encryption is FileVault. This was first established in 2011. When you turn on FileVault, you must supply a password when your Mac boots up. The information on the hard drive would be undecipherable without this password. The encryption process ties a recovery key and password to the disk, which generates at the time of encrypting. More recent versions of Mac OS enable you to use your iCloud account as an unlock for the disk. With no password, neither you nor anyone else could access any data stored on that drive. Mac FileVault is an excellent solution for handling confidential information. Or if you’re concerned about the security of your Mac data if it’s stolen or lost. Related Reading

So, Should I Use FileVault?

In short, yes. If you’re worried about the privacy of your files or if your computer holds sensitive information that shouldn’t be accessed without authorization, then you need to use FileVault disk encryption. This is a handy feature if you frequently transport your laptop. It’s even more essential if you have important data on your computer and are concerned about it being stolen or lost. FileVault gives you peace of mind, which is priceless.

How Do I Check If FileVault is Enabled?

You most likely already have FileVault enabled if you have a newer Mac desktop or laptop. Here’s how to check if FileVault is Enabled On Your Mac:
  1. Open the Apple Menu and click on System Preferences.
  2. Select Security & Privacy.
  1. Click on the FileVault Tab. From here, your FileVault status will be displayed in this window.
Keep in mind that the initial encryption process might take a few hours to finish before you can turn on FileVault. Even though it does operate in the background, you can keep using your Mac as usual. Although, performance-wise, it probably won’t be at its peak.

A Few Warnings Before Using FileVault

There are a few crucial details to bear in mind.

This Is a Long Process

Encrypting your Mac will take hours. As a result, if you’re enabling FileVault on a Laptop, you should be prepared to leave your machine on and plugged into a wall outlet until FileVault’s job is done.

Best Used With an SSD

You will have a much easier time using a flash-based storage instead of a regular hard drive. So, if your Mac is older and still uses a spinning disk, wait until you get your system upgraded until you implement FileVault.

Don’t Lose Your Key!

Have a place to store your encryption key and password where you won’t lose them. If you lose your encryption key, your data will be lost forever. However, you can recover your files from a Time Machine backup.

Say Goodbye to Convenience

Once FileVault is enabled, you must type the FileVault password every time you start up your computer. It will no longer work if you had previously enabled automatic login to a specific user or administrator account. To decrypt the drive, you must enter a password.

How to Enable FileVault Disk Encryption

If your Mac doesn’t automatically enable FileVault, or if you turned it off and you want to turn it back on again, here’s how to do so:
  1. Open the Apple Menu and then click on System Preferences.
  2. Select Security & Privacy.
  1. To access your FileVault, click on the FileVault tab, then click the locked padlock icon in the bottom left corner of the window.
  1. Enter your administrator name and password, click Unlock. Then select Turn On FileVault.
  1. You have the option of linking your iCloud account to FileVault in order to unlock the disk. After you do that, reset your password (or create a recovery key), and click Continue.
  2. To begin the encryption process, restart your Mac.
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Your FileVault Recovery Key

One of the most important options to consider is FileVault recovery keys. If you use this option, rather than linking your iCloud account, keep a record of the key and store it in a secure location that isn’t on your hard drive. Losing the recovery key makes your data impossible to recover. It’s worth taking precautions and writing it down, keeping it in a safe place, and using a password manager.

How to Disable FileVault

After you’ve encrypted your disk, you always have the option to turn FileVault off. Some users find that it’s resource-draining or that they don’t require such a high level of security.
  1. Go to Apple Menu > System Preferences.
  2. Click Security and Privacy. Select FileVault from the drop-down menu, then click the lock in the bottom left corner of the window.
  3. To log in, enter your administrator name and password.
  4. Click Turn Off FileVault.
FileVault’s encryption Keychain service is disabled, allowing you to decrypt your files. This process runs in the background, but it is a time-consuming procedure. To summarize, File Vault is a built-in disk encryption feature that’s worth enabling for many Mac Users. Everything on your disk will be encrypted, and you must enter a passcode to unlock your computer each time you restart or boot it up. Also, you have to make sure not to lose your encryption key, or you will lose your data forever. If you have any questions about FileVault, please leave a comment below.