Encrypting Android for Better Security

Android devices are amazing to own as they allow third-party software download, and you can customize it to your desire. However, there is a lot of concern about the security that is essential to understand. Working with variety of apps and software exposes the system to various threats.

Android comes with an inbuilt encryption feature that enables in data encryption. It includes downloaded files, application data and other stuff stored on your Android Smartphone. Accessing your data will require entering PIN or using your password whenever you turn your phone on. For this, you will need to learn about Android encryption for better security.

In our example, we will be using Android Gingerbread 2.3.4 and later versions.

Why do we need encryption?

Encryption is all about storing the data on your phone that is unreadable. The data is stored in a scrambled form. Whenever you power on your Smartphone you will need to enter the password or the PIN to access it. It is similar to the lock screen feature; the PIN will be used to decrypt the data on your phone. When you enter the password or the PIN the data will become comprehensible. The advantage of using this utility is that only you will be able to gain access to your data. No one else would be able to access it or see it provided you had not shared the details with another person.

If you already have sensitive data and information stored, then you must enable the encryption. Dealing with information that is related to your corporate profile or client data requires high-level security. Without the encryption key, no one would be able to access the data stored on your Smartphone.

If you are not dealing with any sensitive information on your phone then probably you do not require any encryption. However, if your phone gets stolen or pilfered then your personal information and data are under threat without Android encryption.

Encryption is also essential for protecting your device against warrantless searches.

Encryption Warnings

After knowing the importance of encryption if you too are thinking of enabling it then, you need to know more about it. With everything, there are drawbacks too that you need to understand:

• Encryption is heavy on the system performance. It means that you will experience slow system performance. The speed will drop down; it varies on the hardware that your phone is using.

• Encryption is the ultimate tool to protect your phone. If you need to remove it, then you will have to go for default settings or factory reset to remove it. Factory reset will erase the encryption along with all the data stored on your device.

• Encryption is not for everyone as it is not beneficial for everyone.

Android Encryption

If you are using the utility of encryption, then remember it is time-consuming. Depending on the data stored, the process of encryption can take at least an hour or more. It is advisable that you need to plug in the phone for charging before initiating the process of encryption.

Before starting the process of encryption, you need to ensure that you already have the lock screen password set up. You will not be allowed to encrypt data before you secure your device using PIN or a password.

If you have not done it already then you, need to go to Settings-> Security-> Screen Lock-> PIN or Password. Now from here on you can create a password or a PIN.

Encryption of the storage of your Android Smartphone is easy. Simply go to Settings-> Security-> Encrypt and choose Encrypt phone or encrypt tablet.

Remember to go through the warning information and then only proceed further. When you have agreed to move further then, a message will appear asking you to plug your device. Now the process will initiate that will take at least an hour to complete. Remember not to use your phone during the process.

If you are using Nexus 4 with Android 4.2.2 then, your phone will reboot. If this is what you are facing then attempt the process of encryption again to override this bug.

When the progress begins, you will be able to see the progress indicator. When the process is finished the device will be encrypted. You will know that the process is done when you will not be able to read the storage without the encryption key. Whenever, you boot your device without using the encryption key the data stored will be unreadable. To remove the encryption, you will need to opt for factory reset.

Using a PIN will still require entering a password.

Encryption is a great way of protecting data on your device. However, you need to go carefully through with all the pros and cons.

About the Author: Hi! I am Polly M Quinton, a prolific blog writer and keen author of articles related to computer security and solution for issues related to computers and mobile devices. Being associated with the reputed best pc tuneup service provider Qresolve, I have resolved thousands of tech issues for our customers from worldwide. computer virus removal My areas of interest are PC security, endpoint security system, router support etc. You can follow me for my useful remote computer support articles on Ezine and other article-oriented websites.