encrypting your phoneThere are many reasons you might want to encrypt your phone, but suffice to say it’s a good idea for most people. Nowadays our phones carry so much crucial data that it’s imperative that no one else has access.

M.K. Lords of Airbitz has written an excellent article on all manner of encryption. It includes a super-simple how to on how to encrypt your phone.
Here is an easy step by step from BGR on how to encrypt an Android.

 

  • Open up Settings.
  • Click on Security.
  • Find the option for phone storage encryption and enable it.
  • You’ll want to make sure your phone is plugged in during the encryption process, which takes around an hour to complete. Leave your phone alone while encryption is being enabled.
  • Once the process is finished, open up Settings again and check to see if there’s an “Encrypted” badge under the phone storage encryption option.

 

Credits: Do this now: A step-by-step guide for encrypting your Android phone

 

Should You Encrypt Your Phone

The FBI would prefer that you don’t actually encrypt your phone. Today, FBI director James Comey claims that unbreakable encryption is “an affront to the rule of law.” Yesterday, it was simply a way to safeguard your information against malware.

Credits: FBI: Actually, Don’t Encrypt Your Phone After All – Technologist

If you don’t want law enforcement to have access to your phone without your permission, you should definitely encrypt.

 

You find the following information under “attempts to unlock Google devices”:

For some other types of Android devices, Google can reset the passcodes when served with a search warrant and an order instructing them to assist law enforcement to extract data from the device. This process can be done by Google remotely and allows forensic examiners to view the contents of a device.

What this means is that Google may reset the phone’s passcode remotely if the proper legal paperwork is provided.

Credits: Google may reset Android passcodes remotely, unless you encrypt

But, that is only possible of full-disk encryption is not enabled.

Really, the choice is up to you. If you have faith that giving the government and or criminals a back door to your primary communication device is not a problem, then don’t worry about it. If one the other hand, you worry about others having free access to all of your data, you should certainly encrypt.

You may remember the case of the Daily Mirror hacking a bunch of journalists’ phones.

The publisher of the Daily and Sunday Mirror faces further large payouts to future phone-hacking victims after losing its appeal to reduce the total of £1.2m awarded to eight victims including the actor Sadie Frost.

Credits: Mirror publisher loses appeal over scale of phonehacking payouts
In this case, The Daily Mirror was clearly a bad actor acting illegally, but it is hard not to put some of the blame on the journalists who didn’t secure their own phones.

Remember, you can keep almost any attacker out of your phone simply by encrypting.