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How to set up BitLocker encryption in Windows 8

BitLocker is a feature of Windows 8 that allows you to encrypt all the data on your hard disk - here's how to set it up

BitLocker is a feature of Windows 8 that allows you to encrypt all the data on your hard disk - this makes it incredibly difficult for someone to steal your files, folders and information without your password.

So, if your PC is lost or stolen then BitLocker will keep your information safe. Once BitLocker is switched on every file you save to the disk is encrypted automatically and without the BitLocker password cannot be opened by anyone.

To setup BitLocker go the Start Screen and type BitLocker, in the Settings results click on Manage BitLocker, this will open the BitLocker control panel. Click on the drive or partition where you store your personal files and folders and then click on Turn BitLocker on. Choose Use a password to unlock the drive and then enter and re-enter your password, the longer the phrase you use the better. A good tip for strong passwords is to use an easily remembered phrase or sentence rather than just a random selection of numbers and letters. For instance, I’m2busy2RememberMyPassword contains numbers, upper and lower case letters and a punctuation character it’s strong yet memorable.

In the next step you can choose to store a recovery key on the off chance that you forget or lose your BitLocker encryption password. You can choose to save it to your Microsoft Account, USB flash storage, a file or just print it out – whichever method you select make sure it isn’t with your laptop or marked as your BitLocker Password lest your PC fall into the wrong hands.

Once you’ve saved your recovery key you can choose to encrypt just the used space or the entire drive. If it’s a brand new never been used before laptop then select the Encrypt used disk space option, for a PC that’s been in use choose Encrypt entire drive. Click on Start encrypting to protect your files. 

See the Dell Tech Zone for more advice on family computing

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