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Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Pros and Cons for encrypting your Android phone.

Those who use Android will have seen, under settings, the provision of encrypting your Android mobile phone and even your external SDCard if you use one.

This can have some good benefits, but seems to have more disadvantages than advantages. But things often are not as they seem! I encrypted my phone and have had no regrets, I'll explain later.

If, after reading this article, you decide against encryption, there is still one case where it really is handy.

When you sell your old phone.

If, before selling your phone, you do a “factory reset”, you may think that all your data has been destroyed, but a determined hacker can reclaim all your deleted files and passwords!

There is a way to forestall this. Simply by encrypting your mobile phone and immediately doing a “factory reset”. After the reset, the encryption is immediately turned off and you can sell your phone (in normal unencrypted mode) knowing if the new purchaser tries to read your deleted date, he can't as all the deleted files were, and still are, encrypted and it would all be meaningless.

Now for encryption for daily use.

If, like me, you save all your passwords to be applied immediately, including bank details, PayPal etc., then you would be in dire straits if you lose your mobile phone, wouldn't you?

So I encrypted my phone with a master password. Now if I lose it, the chances of anyone getting my data is almost non-existent. I have set my phone to revert to login after 30 seconds of non-use. Granted they could eventually crack my master password, but I can log onto to a special Samsung website and zap everything on my phone from there. This would always be within a few hours of losing it.

Initially, there was a problem of having to enter my password so many times a day but after two days it became automatic. After a week, I don't even notice I do it, as it is done so very quickly.

You can't use fingerprint recognition or the design input as it is not considered secure enough, so the password has to be alpha-numeric.


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