How To Encrypt An Android Device
Encryption is the activity of converting data into ciphertext, which is difficult for unauthorized people to understand. Data or information theft happens around the world all the time. With the increased use of smartphones, data theft has become very easy. People use their smartphone as a personal computer to browse the Internet, conduct money transactions and even store important information since it is portable. All one has to do is just steal the phone and look into it to get access to various bank accounts, passwords and important files.
There are two different types of smartphones in the market – iPhones and Android based phones. Apple started to apply hardware encryption from iOS 4, which means that all the files are automatically encrypted. There is no password code required and when the device is unlocked it automatically decrypts the system. When you assign a PIN code, the device is secure against any information theft.
There was no support for complete device encryption before Android 3.0. Most of the modern Android smartphones do not have data encryption built in their hardware system. At present, to encrypt your Android phone you have to enter a passcode every time you boot the phone. This would decrypt the file system and the phone would function normally. In Android 4.0, encryption settings are provided in the Security settings option in the main settings menu. One major drawback is that if you were to forget your passcode you cannot access your phone without resetting it through the bootloader. Performing this function would erase all your data and this process might even take an hour to complete. This provides us with another option, to depend on third party applications to safeguard your messages, emails and other critical information.
Some of the apps and software that can be used on your Android device to protect information theft are described below.
When you make calls, are you sure that no one is listening to your conversations? It is really difficult to find who is listening, but with this app you can make sure that no one is eavesdropping on your conversation.
This app encrypts all the text messages and saves them in a separate database on your mobile. To send and receive messages both the devices should have this app installed. Even if the device is stolen the messages would be secure and encrypted messages are impossible to be monitored.
This is an open source email app which is one of the most powerful and best email clients for Android. This app supports POP3 and IMAP, and works easily with large number of mails.
Android Privacy Guard:
This app can be used to encrypt data and messages on your device. This adds an extra layer to the security of the information stored.
Since multitasking is possible with Android phones, you can run applications in the background that block access to certain apps. Apps such as App Protector Pro when used, would allow access to launch any app only on providing the PIN code. These apps can be set to run in the background when you switch on the phone.
Android Phones and tablets are vulnerable when it comes to information theft. For a determined crook and a passionate Android user it is easy to work around the security provided by third party apps. Hence, with Android devices, there is a lot of scope for improvement in information security.