How to Encrypt Your Android Smartphone

How important is your data for you? Do you want to just keep your smartphone away from prying eyes or do you happen to keep sensitive information on your mobile device that you don’t want falling into the hands of another person?

Whatever your reason is, there is little doubt that keeping your data secure these days is pretty important. Fortunately, Android gives all smartphone users the tools to encrypt their smartphones right out of the box.

For those who want something extra or who are not happy with the default features, they can always opt for third-party apps that are designed to encrypt the Android smartphone or different files on the device to their user’s liking.

What is Smartphone Encryption?

Before we tell you how to encrypt your Android smartphone, let’s take some time to see what exactly is this encryption that we speak of and what are its advantages and disadvantages.

The first and foremost thing to understand is that encrypting your smartphone is not the one-stop solution to safeguard all of your data/ Thanks to the digital world we live in, your device cannot safeguard all of your data especially what you send over the Internet.

What device encryption can do is convert all the data stored on your smartphone into a form that can only be read with the correct credentials

So basically, you are moving forward from using the simple PIN code or password to the big game where your photos, text conversations, emails, and documents are stored in a scrambled format that is unreadable to any computer or a person without the right key.

Things to consider before encrypting your phone

Now that you know what is smartphone encryption, here are a few things that you need to know before you encrypt your Android smartphone:

Slower Performance of Device

Before you rush headfirst into encrypting your smartphone, be warned that your device’s performance will suffer. Now it is not necessary that every Android smartphone will suffer the same fate but you have been warned that it is a possibility

There is no coming Back

Once your device becomes encrypted, there is no going back. So, if you think this is just a phase you are going through and you want to try what happens when you encrypt your Android smartphone; Please Don’t.

Once you have encrypted your device, you will have to factory reset the smartphone if you want to get rid of the encryption which will cause you to lose all of your data.

A BIG NO to rooted devices

If your Android smartphone is rooted, you might run into problems. So in our opinion, you should unroot your device before you encrypt your smartphone and then re-root afterward.

How to encrypt your Android smartphone

You can encrypt your Android smartphone in the following two ways:

Default settings

The most simple and preferred way to encrypt your Android smartphone is to use the default settings on your smartphone. Now, these settings may vary from smartphone to smartphone i.e. you may have to go through a different path to encrypt your Android smartphone but in the end, the results are the same.

Most of the latest smartphones are coming with default encryption and provide the feature of File Safe where you can encrypt different files, images, audios, videos, etc. on your device to create a safe place for them. Here’s how you can create a safe of your own:

  • Go the phone’s Settings App
  • Find the Security and Privacy option (It may be present in additional settings in some smartphones)
  • Select File Safe
  • Create a Password
  • Answer the security questions
  • Choose the files you want to add in the safe and you are done

Also, you can have more than one safe on your smartphone if you want to keep different files in different places, accessed by different passwords.

Mobile apps

In today’s world, you can think of a task and you can find its corresponding mobile app to help you accomplish it.

SSE universal encryption app

This app is a one-stop-shop to keep everything on your smartphone safe and secure. Truth be told, for a person who has had little experience with encrypting their devices, the settings of the app could feel like too much but trust us it is not as difficult as it seems.

One of the things that make the SSE Universal Encryption App desirable is the fact that you do not need to mass encrypt your Android smartphone, instead, you can choose to secure individual files and directories. You can set up a password to decrypt the said documents and also have the option to either create the encrypted files or replace the originals.

Here’s how you can use this app:

  • Go to Google Play
  • Download SSE Universal Encryption App
  • Open the app and go to “File/Dir Encryptor”
  • Long press the file/document you want to encrypt
  • Press Encrypt Dir
  • Set Password and your file will be encrypted

Want more security for your smartphone? Well, this app has got you covered as it also comes with Text Encryptor which can help you to keep encrypted notes on your device which can also be shared across different platforms.

Moreover, you will also have a Password Vault where you will only have to remember one single password key while the app will do the rest i.e. manage and secure all of your passwords, PINs, and notes.

Want more features? Well, this app has got you covered as, under the Other Utils tab, you can find other options including Password Generator (which is a lifesaver if like me you suck at creating new passwords), Clipboard Cleaner, Algorithm Benchmark, etc.

Crypto ghost

If you are looking for a way to not only encrypt your Android smartphone but also share encrypted files with your contacts then Crypto Ghost is the right mobile application for you.

The mobile app secures your files with a personal key by using the email and password that you provide when you first open the app. If you plan on sharing the encrypted files with your friends, you can also generate a separate password so you don’t have to share your main password with any other person.

This is a quite handy app to share anything that you want to keep away from prying eyes. With the default setting on an Android device, you can only encrypt the files on your device but can provide no protection for the ones you are sharing with your friends.

Here’s how the app works:

  • Go to Google Play
  • Download Crypto Ghost
  • Open the app and register with your email ID
  • When moved to the new screen, choose the file(s) you want to encrypt by tapping inside the box
  • Choose to either encrypt for yourself or send to a friend
  • Enter the name of the encrypted file and press Encrypt
  • In case of sharing the encrypted file with your friend, you will have to create a new password and choose a medium to send the file for instant message, email, etc.

If you want to decrypt a file for yourself or you have received an encrypted file from someone who used crypto ghost and now you have to decrypt it, here’s what you have to do:

  • Open the Mobile App
  • Tap the three dots at the top right side
  • Select Decryption
  • Choose the file you want to decrypt by tapping inside the box
  • Select whether you re decrypting your own file or the one you have received from a friend
  • Enter the name for a file and press Decrypt
  • In case you have received the encrypted file from a friend, you will have to enter the provided password to decrypt it.

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