Windows 10 Security


What is Bitlocker?

Bitlocker is a feature included in some versions of Windows that provides drive encryption. When a drive is encrypted, the data on it becomes scrambled and indecipherable to anyone without the right password or smartcard.

A more complex Recovery Key will be needed if Bitlocker detects the drive has been moved or changed. This protects your data even if the drive is removed or stolen.  


Where is my Recovery Key? / I’m locked out!

For UFV provided devices, IT Services manages all recovery keys. If you require assistance with your recovery key, please contact the IT Service Desk.

For personal devices, see Microsoft’s guide on recovering the Recovery Key


What is Bitlocker To Go?

USB drives, also known as flash drives, are very convenient when it comes to transporting data. Their tiny size allows you to carry them unnoticed in a pocket or on a key ring, while their storage capacity allows you to store almost anything. Unfortunately, the small size that makes them so useful also makes them easy to lose, which can put any sensitive information you have stored on them at risk.

To protect your data on USB drives, you can use BitLocker To Go, a feature of Windows that encrypts your data to prevent unauthorized viewing. Without your password, smart card, or recovery key, your data will be indecipherable to anyone who finds your flash drive.

To find out how to use Bitlocker To Go, download our Bitlocker To Go Guide or contact the IT Service Desk



What is SmartScreen?

Windows SmartScreen helps you identify potentially malicious websites, and helps you to make informed decisions about downloads. It helps to protect you in three ways:

                1. When you are browsing the web or opening a link using Microsoft Edge, SmartScreen will analyze and determine if the page is malicious. If it finds a suspicious page, SmartScreen will display a warning page that advises you to proceed with caution.

                2. SmartScreen checks the sites you visit against a dynamic list of reported malicious sites. If it finds a match, SmartScreen will let you know it has blocked the page.

                3. SmartScreen checks file you download from the web against a list of programs known to be unsafe. If it finds a match, SmartScreen will let you know it has blocked the download.


What does SmartScreen look like?

In the case of a blocked site, SmartScreen appears as a red page in Microsoft Edge. 

In the case of a blocked download, the progress bar will become red and warn you about the unsafe download. 


What can I do if SmartScreen warns me about a site I visit, but I believe that site is safe?

From the warning page, you can choose to report the site as safe. To do so, select More Information, and then Report that this site does not contain threats. From there, follow the instructions.

For most sites, you will also be able to disregard the warning by clicking Disregard and continue (not recommended).

Please note: clicking this option may expose your computer and personal data to malware and other threats. If you are unsure if you should continue, please contact the IT Service Desk or Cybersecurity.

If you visit a site that you think may be unsafe but has not been caught by SmartScreen, you can report it by clicking the Tools button, then Safety,

"SmartScreen can't be reached right now"

Occasionally when downloading a file, you may get a SmartScreen warning message that reads: 

SmartScreen can't be reached right now

In this case, open the folder with the file you downloaded (usually "Downloads"). Right-click this file > choose Properties. In the properties window, at the bottom of the General tab, check the box that says 'Unblock', then 'OK'.


You can now run the downloaded file. 


Is SmartScreen a pop-up blocker?

No. SmartScreen checks the sites you visit and the files you download for known security threats. Pop-up blockers only block pop-ups, which are usually non-malicious advertisements. 


Article ID: 523
Thu 5/14/20 10:23 AM
Mon 7/6/20 10:06 AM