Your Android phone’s lock screen can only prevent others from using it. If it is plugged into a computer, someone can easily get the data stored in it. You need a better protection – an encryption with specific cryptographic key to prevent an Android savvy from pulling out the data in your cell phone, after unlocking the screen with utmost ease.
Another interesting fact about cell phone data is that you cannot determine whether you’ve fully destroyed it. Any forensic analysis can expose text messages or other relevant info which were thought to have been removed from the memory. However, if these text messages and other important information have encryption to start with, no one can recover them from a defunct phone.
These lines will tell you how you can encrypt Android devices running KitKat or Jelly Bean.
Charge Your Battery: You need to re-charge your battery to maximum. Plug in your device with a power cable and keep it connected, as the process of encryption takes at least half an hour. During the process, any event that causes your phone to shut down will fail the process which may result in loss of data.
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Security Menu: Keeping the battery plugged, follow these steps
- Open the Settings of your Android device
- Search Security Menu items.
- Choose “Lock Screen Menu” item.
- Select a Password or PIN
- Follow the instructions and confirm your password
It is a bit annoying that you will always have to enter the PIN while opening your device. Make sure that the password is long which makes even more difficult for anyone to hack.
Encrypt SD Card: Scroll down the “Security Settings” to “Encrypt Phone” option (if it’s a tablet, you’ll see “Encrypt Tablet” option).
- Choose and check the box on the option “Encrypt SD card”.
- Tap on “Next” and confirm your PIN.
Encrypt Phone: Now Press “Encrypt Phone” button. It is worth mentioning that you cannot decrypt your Android cell phone other than using factory reset option, which will wipe out all the data.
Completion: Your Android phone takes a while to complete the encryption process. It will take at least 30 minutes during which you can see your phone rebooting several times. Upon completion, you will be asked to enter the password.
Encryption is better for professionals and people with broad social circles. This will save them from any unanticipated trouble if they lose their cell phone in public.
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