How to Encrypt an Android Phone or Tablet for Better Security?
Though screenlocks provide a basic level of security, hackers can still use tools to access your data. Android encryption takes it a step further and scrambles data. The scrambled (encrypted) data is pretty much useless to a thief without the 'unlock' code to decrypt it.
Who requires encryption:
Almost all of us. It is wrong to think that only employees of large corporations have confidential data. Think about all the data in your social media accounts, email messages and SMS. There can also be photos and videos of a private nature.
What to remember:
- There is never a 100% secure method. Security is always a game of one-upmanship between the scrupulous and the unscrupulous. But that shouldn't stop us from doing our best to protect our data.
- Some low end phones might experience a considerable slowing down of the phone after encryption.
Step I: Create a screenlock (Password, Pattern, PIN)
Without a screenlock, encryption is pretty much useless. Read this post to learn how to create a screenlock for Android.
Step II: Encrypt Android
Go to Settings>>Security>>Encrypt Phone
Tap 'ENCRYPT PHONE'. That will encrypt your phone and restart it.
- Encryption is irreversible. The only way to remove encryption is to Factory Reset the device. But you will lose all data when you factory reset the device.
- Encryption might take an hour or more depending on the size of the data.
The screenlock that you have created will make it difficult for hackers to access data. Even if they manage to access your data with the screenlock, the encrypted data cannot be decrypted without the screenlock code.