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How to Encrypt an Android device and Why???

Tips to Encrypt an Android device and Why???

How to encrypt an Android device and Why
How to encrypt an Android device and Why

Encrypting any Android phone is the best way to secure device data if it is lost or stolen. When you encrypt your device, all its data — emails, messages, media, and everything else — is stored in an unreadable form, and you’ll have to enter a PIN or password to make it readable. This feature is available in the most Androids devices that running on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and above. On some higher-end handsets running Lollipop (5.x) and higher, it’s enabled out-of-the-box, while on some older or lower-end devices, you have to turn it on yourself.

Why Encrypting???

Android uses dm-crypt, a standard disk encryption system in Linux kernel, to store the data in your phone in a unreadable manner.

Encrypting the phone will protect your data, which can be all the more useful in a corporate setting to avert dangers of corporate espionage.

But, nonetheless, in our day to day life encrypting the device might be the best decision, especially against the heightened dangers online.

Even if you might not have any relevant government or corporate secrets that you’re saving from perpetrators, you do have your identity and other personal, financial data on the phone — it mean if the data is put in the wrong hands can put you in dangerous situations such as identity theft or financial fraud.

In Android versions Lollipop (5.1) and above, users can choose whether or not to have a PIN/Password layer on your encryption.

Though there are highclass methods to crack an encrypted device, that doesn’t mean you need to make it easy for an attacker to access your data.

If you’re still confused on how that might be helpful, think about why you even have a screen lock in the first place? Even though they can be bypassed with much ease.

Advantages of Encrypting

1. Protect personal information
Cell phones contain a trove of private information like Bank logins, contact numbers, e-mail accounts, passwords, browsing history, your home address, and so much more, all neatly filed in a single device. In the case of lost devices, the amount of data that changes hands can be staggering. With encryption in place, your information stays safe no matter what.

2. Safe corporate data
Do you have a work phone that contains business contacts or documents? Protecting confidential corporate data and trade secrets is arguably more important than locking down private information.

Disadvantages of Encrypting

1. Encryption isn’t fully secure
Full disc encryption enabled and Complex lock screen pattern, it’s still technically possible to obtain data from your device. This method is normally possible by skilled hackers.

2. Slow operating speed
Encryption increases the load on your device’s CPU, which can make slowdown worse and occur more frequently. The problem is rarely noticeable on more powerful and newer android devices, but the bottom line is if your phone is encrypted, you should expect some slowdown.

3. Longer boot times
Rebooting an encrypted phone takes about twice as long as unencrypted devices, all due to the security overhead. When you reboot your device every time you need to enter your PIN or lock screen password, which can be difficult for some users.

4. Full decryption isn’t possible
Once you encrypt your device, the only way to decrypt the entire disc is to do a factory reset. You need to backup your data externally before encrypting because the data is not fully decrypted.

5. Rooted device can’t encrypt
Encryption process can’t be doing when your phone is rooted, So you can first unroot your phone and then re-root it after encryption is complete.

Encryption Versus Lock Screen

Encryption and screen locks are two different activities that aren’t necessarily linked together. Just because your phone asks for a PIN, password, swipe pattern, or fingerprint to pass the lock screen doesn’t mean your data is encrypted. In fact, data can be still accessed with a screen lock in place, all the intruder needs is a USB cable and a little time to access your device data. Enter encryption, which provides a level of protection far beyond a simple lock screen code, scrambling all the data on your phone with a special cryptographic key. So even if someone pulls all the data off your phone, the data will be useless without your key.
Bear in mind that it’s hard to know when you’ve fully destroyed data on a phone. Forensic analysis of a defunct phone can conceivably expose info like text messages. But if the messages are encrypted to begin with, there’s no undo button to recovered.

All Devices Can Be Encrypted?

Every device powered by Android will not have full disc encryption as an option. Most e-readers, gaming consoles, and Android TVs skip the feature for a number of reasons, the main ones being a lack of processing power. These devices are very low risk as far as data theft is concerned, so the lack of an encryption option isn’t a big problem.
If your phone or Android device doesn’t offer full encryption, you can always download an app that encrypts individual files or folders. See below for a selection of recommended programs.

How to Encrypt???

Before you get started, there are a few things that you need to know:

  • Encrypting the device can take an hour or longer.
  • Your device’s battery must be at least 80% charged. Android won’t even start the process otherwise.
  • If your device is rooted, be sure to unroot your phone before continuing!

Encryption feature of android is built into the operating system. To enable it, all you have to do is enter the settings menu and tap through a few dialogue boxes. Before you begin, make sure your battery is fully charged or you have access to a wall outlet. Encryption process can take few minutes to well over an hour depending on the speed of your phone and the amount of data that’s getting encrypted. If you stop the process in the middle by lose power or any other condition, you could lose data.

Enable encryption on Android 5.0 or newer follow these steps:

  • Open the menu and tap on the Settings icon.
  • Scroll down to the Security settings.
  • Look for the “Encrypt phone” or “Encrypt tablet” option and tap it.
  • You’ll be prompted to plug your phone in before beginning.
  • Tap Continue.
  • Enter your password or PIN if prompted.
  • Wait for the encryption process to complete.
  • When your device is ready, enter your PIN or password and use as normal.

Enable encryption on Android 4.4 or older follow these steps:

  • Create a PIN or password under Settings > Security > Screen Lock.
  • Go back to the Settings menu and choose “Security”.
  • Look for the “Encrypt phone” or “Encrypt tablet” option and tap it.
  • You’ll be prompted to plug your phone in before beginning.
  • Tap Continue.
  • Enter your password or PIN if prompted.
  • Wait for the encryption process to complete.
  • When your device is ready, enter your PIN or password and use as normal.

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