Encryption is the process of encoding data to make it indecipherable to anyone who doesn’t have access to the original encoding method. Encryption keeps data safe from unauthorized parties.
How does encryption work?
Myriad encryption formulas exist. It could be in elementary encryption formula, for instance, to replace every letter of a word with the letter that would follow it and the alphabet. By this method, the word phone would become qipof – which clearly won’t make sense to anyone who doesn’t have access to the formula used. The encryption algorithms in use in personal computing today are nothing like this simple formula – they tend to be so complex, even supercomputers wouldn’t be able to break them.
Do you need encryption?
For casual users, encryption isn’t necessary – they don’t have data that’s important enough for anyone to want to steal. For people who have personal or financial information stored on their mobile devices, though, encryption is a good idea. Should you ever lose your device, expert data and identity thieves can easily go through your phone password. Encryption may be only thing that stands between them and your financial information.
Encrypting your Android device
Enabling encryption on your device is easy. The following five steps should do it:
. Connect your phone to its charger and then to a power source. Android only allows you to activate encryption when your phone either has a full battery or is plugged to the charger.
. Set a PIN or password to lock your screen. You need to make sure that you don’t forget what you set – once you get your encryption activated, you’ll need it to get back into your device.
. Proceed to the Security menu under Settings . Depending on your device and the Android version it has, the encryption menu may be found elsewhere.
. Select Encrypt Phone/Tablet . A warning will show that lets you know that if the encryption process is interrupted, you will lose some or all of your data.
. If you are sure that nothing will interrupt the process, you should hit Encrypt Phone/Tablet . You’ll be asked for your PIN/password at this point – the one that you created in Step 2. When you let the phone have it and hit the Encrypt Phone/T ablet button, the device will reboot and start the encryption process. It’s this simple.
The time it takes for your device to run through the encryption process depends on the amount of data that you have. After the encryption process completes, the device will reboot once more and ask you for your PIN or password. Entering this pin each time you use your phone activates the data decryption process. It’s the only way you will be actually able to see the data on your device.
If you use your phone or tablet to access your bank account for making online purchases, it is likely to contain sensitive financial information that you wouldn’t want anyone to get their hands on. Encryption provides you with one more layer of security against prying eyes.