BitLocker data encryption may be happening without your knowledge, that means that your automaticity getting extra security from Microsoft without any effort required on your part, but also a caution...
When you add an outlook.com home user account to a new Windows PC as part of the initialisation (as Microsoft now requires) Microsoft can/will/may auto-encrypt the hard drive with windows BitLocker. It does this without asking or telling you. It associates the long encryption key with your Microsoft account (normally a hotmail.com or outlook.com account) and stores the encryption key under your account on the web.
The reason that they do this is to make your PC more secure so if the hard drive is removed from the PC or laptop it can't be just plugged into another PC and have data read. While this is good in theory, forcing data encryption on unwitting home or small business users without asking or telling them I don't feel is a good policy. In an enterprise IT environment significant planning and testing would be implemented before even considering(!) encrypting the data. Having data is no use whatsoever if you can't access it.
There are a few things that can go wrong, under certain circumstances you PC may prompt for the key before stating Windows and if you don't have it your never (never ever, EVER) getting your 30 years worth of data back. Here are some examples:
So what should you do? That's difficult, I'm not going to 'recommend' that you deliberately use 'less security' than you could but here are some thoughts.
A PC that just sits in a factory, contains no data and/or just connects to a remote desktop session does NOT need BitLocker turned on its an unnecessary overhead.
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Digitalwelcomemat provides IT consultancy and services for business customers on the NSW Central Coast in Australia.