Why we should encrypt Android or iOS devices in our hand?
Security of your digital data has now become a concerning issue. Everyone’s Android or iOS devices hold personal photos, private messages, emails and sometimes even sensitive health information. It would be devastating for this data to fall into the wrong hands. There comes the importance of smartphone encryption.
The importance of security and smartphone encryption has been popping up over and over again in our news and social media feeds recently. Apple’s battle with the United States government relating to encryption on its iOS devices has brought the issue of privacy to the forefront.
Why you need to encrypt Android or iOS devices
SO what happens when you encrypt Android or iOS devices?
Encryption stores your phone’s data in an unreadable, seemingly scrambled form. When you enter your PIN, password, or pattern on the lock screen, your phone decrypts the data, making it understandable. If someone doesn’t know the encryption PIN or password, they can’t access your data. So it never hurts to keep your stuff protected by encrypting your smartphone.
Here we’re going to take a look at how to secure and encrypt Android or iOS devices to ensure that data is protected.
Things you should consider before enabling encryption
Now most of new Android devices ships with encryption already turned on by default. If this is the case for your phone, there is no way to disable encryption. But if you’re using a device that doesn’t have encryption enabled out of the box, there are some things to consider before enabling it :
- Slower Performance: Once a device is encrypted, the data has to be decrypted on-the-fly every time you access it. Therefore, you may see a bit of a performance drop once it’s enabled, though it’s generally not noticeable for most users (especially if you have a powerful phone).
- Encryption is one-way: If you enable encryption yourself, the only way to undo the process is by factory resetting the device and starting over from scratch. So make sure you’re sure before you start the process.
- If you’re rooted, you’ll need to temporarily unroot: If you try to encrypt a rooted phone, you’ll run into problems. You can encrypt your rooted phone, but you’ll have to unroot it first, go through the encryption process, then re-root afteward.
How to encrypt Android devices
Google introduced full-device encryption back in Android Gingerbread (2.3.x), but it has undergone some dramatic changes since then. 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.
Android uses dm-crypt encryption function, which is the standard disk encryption system in the Linux kernel. It’s the same technology used by a variety of Linux distributions.
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. Your device must be plugged in throughout the entire process. Again, if you’re rooted, be sure to unroot your phone before continuing. And one more thing if you interfere with the process or end it before it’s finished, you will likely lose all your data. Once the process is started, it’s best to just leave the device alone and let it do its thing.
So learn how to encrypt Android devices :
First go to “Settings“.
Now tap on “Security“. If your phone is already encrypted it will display it here.
If the device isn’t encrypted, you can start the process by tapping the “Encrypt phone” option.
In the next screen you will see a warning to let you know what to expect once the process is finished. If you’re ready to proceed, hit the “Encrypt phone” button.
Again one more warning will popup, which tells you not to interrupt the process. If you’re still not scared away, one more tap of the “Encrypt phone” button to stat the process.
Now your phone will reboot and start the encryption process. A progress bar and estimated time till completion will show up.
Once it’s finished, the phone will reboot and you’re back in business. If you set up a lock screen password, PIN, or pattern, you’ll have to put it in now so the device will finish the boot process.
If you haven’t set up a PIN or password, now is a good time to do so. Head into your device’s “Settings > Security” menu. From there, select the “Screen Lock” option.
To confirm if encryption is enabled head to “Settings > Security” and you can see confirmation “Encrypted” under “Encrypt phone” option.
So that’s it, all your personal stuff in your Android device is safe. Usually encryption will only applied to the data stored in your phone memory. Still the hacker can access your SD card by inserting it to other phone or by card reader.
Don’t panic, luckily you also can encrypt your SD card to keep data safe and prevent the card from being used in another device (unless wiped first).
For that Head to “Settings“, select “Security“, followed by “Encrypt external SD card” and click “Enable“.
Unlike device encryption, which required you wipe the phone to remove it, SD card encryption can easily be reversed in the Settings menu.
How to encrypt iOS devices
After Android encryption now its time to learn how to encrypt iOS devices. Apple introduced device encryption with iOS 8 back in 2014.
Enabling encryption on Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices is actually relatively simple. All it takes is a security code or fingerprint to enable it. While a basic four-digit passcode will do, for better protection I recommend using a longer numerical passcode or a password.
First head to “Settings”
Select “Touch ID & Passcode” (or “Passcode” for older devices without a fingerprint sensor)
Click on the “Turn Passcode On” option and enter in a passcode of your choice. A longer alphanumeric passcode is recommended but a six-digit PIN code will do as well. Avoid four-digit PINs as your passcode. You can change this from Passcode Options in “Set Passcode” screen.
Additionally, you can also opt to utilize Touch ID for biometric authentication if your device comes equipped with Apple’s Touch ID sensor.
Now to confirm if encryption is enabled or not, head to “Settings > Touch ID & Passcode” and then scroll to the bottom of the screen. Here you should see “Data protection is enabled”
If you are stuck in the middle of the process or any doubt regarding how to encrypt Android or iOS devices feel free to comment below.