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How to Encrypt an Android Phone

Android devices have a built in feature that will let you encrypt all the data that you’re storing on it, whether that is your phone or tablet. Data that can be encrypted includes application data, downloaded files and personal files. Encrypting the data will mean that you’ll need to enter a digit PIN or password each time you turn on the device.
For those who don’t know, encryption is basically a way of protecting your data. It will scramble your data and make it unreadable unless the correct passcode is entered. The passcode works the same way as your lock screen does; if it’s not known, then you won’t be able to gain access.
For everyday folk, encryption is probably unnecessary and a lock screen will suffice. If your phone gets stolen, for example, the thief would likely just wipe the phone and sell it on. However, if your phone stores sensitive data on it then there comes a need to encrypt. This applies mostly to business devices, like company phones that could be holding financial or customer data.
Before encrypting your Android device, it’s worth bearing in mind a few factors. Firstly, there is potential that your drive could suffer in performance. Encrypting adds a bit of extra strain, so low end devices could find that the devices slows down a bit. This depends entirely on your device, however. Secondly, encryption is not a reversible process (otherwise it’d be relatively simple for someone to access your data!). The only way to remove encryption is to factory reset the device, which in turn will delete all the data stored on it.
If you still want to go ahead with the encryption process, the following guide should help you do it on Android devices.
Encrypting can be a lengthy process, perhaps an hour or above. It entirely depends on how much data you have stored on the device. As such, it is advisable to plug your device in for charging before beginning. You don’t want to run out of juice midway through.
The next step you need to take is setting up a lock screen. You might already have one enabled, in which case you can move onto the next step. If not, go to ‘Settings’, then ‘Security’, select ‘Screen Lock’ and choose either ‘PIN’ (numerical) or ‘password’. If you don’t have the lock screen enabled then you won’t be able to encrypt your data.
Now, let’s begin encrypting the device’s data. Go to ‘Settings’, then ‘Security’ and then select ‘Encrypt phone/tablet’. You will be presented with a warning message telling you not to interrupt the process and that you can’t reverse the process, as explained above. If you’re ready to go, all you need to do now is press ‘Encrypt phone/tablet’ at the bottom of the warning.
A progress indicator will show and your device’s data will be encrypted once it’s complete. Remember, don’t go losing or forgetting your passcode because without it you’re not going to be able to access your data.

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