Encryption is a method of obfuscating a data file in such a way that the file can only be used when the recipient is in possession of the correct password or key to decrypt the data. It is currently considered the most effective way to achieve data security.
What this means in practice is that you can protect data from people who should not see it, or securely transfer data over the internet without it being accessible by the various servers it goes through on the way. There are a variety of ways to encrypt data, but the one we will be using in this guide is password protecting a file using 7-zip.
How to encrypt files using 7-zip
1. On your QMUL Managed desktop or VDI session right-click on the file or folder you wish to encrypt and in the 7-Zip menu choose Add to archive...
2. You will then see the Add to Archive window:
3. At this point you can rename your archive if you wish. The default name will be the same as the folder or file you are encrypting
4. You should then enter a password of your choice. The password should be at least 8 characters long, with at least one digit, one uppercase letter, and one special character
NOTE: If you lose this password you will not be able to unencrypted this data and IT Services will not be able to assist either.
5. Once you press OK a ".7z" file with the same name as the file or folder you just encrypted will appear in the same location as the original file or folder
6. You are now ready to send your encrypted data by email or any other method safe in the knowledge that only the person(s) with the correct password can access the data.
NOTE: If you are emailing the file then share the password over the phone, you could also send the password in a separate email.
How to decrypt files using 7-zip
1. On your QMUL Managed desktop or VDI session right-click on the file or folder you wish to decrypt and in the 7-Zip menu choose Extract files...
2. Define the location you wish to extract the files to
3. Enter the password for the encrypted file
4. You will now have a decrypted copy of the file.
Please contact the IT Service Desk should you have any difficulties on 0207 882 8888, our lines are open 24/7, alternatively you can raise a ticket.