Last Updated on March 8, 2021 by Filip Poutintsev
Encryption is the process of converting a plain text into something unreadable, called a ciphertext. This is one of the most trusted ways of protecting data. Android Phone Encryption is a technique used by Android where users can encrypt all their data on their phones including photos, texts, and other files.
This is a built-in feature in a lot of Android devices today and it is pretty easy to set up. It has its advantages and disadvantages, which have been discussed below.
Pros of Android Phone Encryption
1. Simple to Setup
Encryption of a device might seem like a tedious job to do but it is fairly simple since you do not have to do any of the codings. A feature is in-built in some Andriod phones that let you do the job at the push of a button. In most phones, you can go to Settings then to Security and then click on Encryption.
This will show you a bunch of instructions that you need to follow. At the end of all that, your device will be encrypted.
2. No Additional App Installation Required
Downloading an application just for certain purposes can be a hassle sometimes. Luckily, when you’re thinking of encrypting a whole Android device, it can be done via an inbuilt feature. It can be found inside Settings on your device.
3. App Data Encryption
Android Phone Encryption service doesn’t just encrypt your pictures, videos, and texts. If you didn’t know, when you use applications like Facebook and Youtube, several data from these apps are stored in a temporary location called cache. Now, not everyone might know to clear this storage from time to time.
Android phone encryption deals with cache too. It encrypts this storage, making it less likely for people to be able to retrieve this data.
4. Increased Data Security
As mentioned before, encryption is one of the best ways to ensure data security. You do not want your data to be misused by anyone. Especially in this day and age of technology when acquiring other’s data is so much easier.
Even if you do not necessarily have data that needs protection on your phone, it is important that you make sure it is safe. Android phone encryption ensures that your data stays secure and private by making your data unreadable by anyone else.
Once you choose to encrypt your Android device, that encrypted data cannot be retrieved. Did you know that when you delete everything off your phone to re-sell it, that data can still be retrieved? Now imagine if you had sensitive information about yourself like your bank details on that phone. See how that could be a problem?
Fortunately, once you encrypt your phone, the only way to decrypt that data is via a factory reset. This way, your data can never be retrieved by anyone.
Cons of Android Phone Encryption
1. Available Only on Selected Devices
The biggest downside of Android phone encryption is that this feature is available only on a few devices. This feature requires stronger hardware which is not available on every device. Hence, it is only possible to be performed on newer versions on Androids.
2. Cannot be Added via an App
Since it is not available on every Android device, you might be thinking it could be done by installing special applications that promise to make your phone’s performance better. Unfortunately, this is not possible. No external app can encrypt your Android device. So, if your device is not compatible, you are out of luck.
3. Lengthy Process
If you were thinking about encrypting your device, you should know that it requires a pretty long time to be completed. It also drains much of your battery. Is it probably better to plug your device while you wait for the process to be done?
4. Cannot be Reversed
Like mentioned before, phone encryption is pretty much an irreversible process. Once it is done, the only way to turn your phone to normal is to factory reset it. Above that, your data will be lost when you factory reset it. This could be a big problem.
5. Phone Performance Decreases
Once you encrypt your phone, it is possible that you will see a change in your phone’s performance. If you have a cheaper device with just as cheap hardware, the encryption process will definitely take a toll on your device, causing it to be much slower. If you have a comparatively better hardware system, this decrease in performance might not be too noticeable for you. Either way, this is a point to have in mind before performing the process.
Now that we’ve looked at all the advantages and disadvantages, it is pretty clear that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. But, if you are just a regular person who cannot or does not want to invest in a good device or someone who does not store a lot of sensitive information on their devices, you should probably not opt for full encryption.
On the other hand, if you are an employer who wants to provide their employees with an encrypted phone, this is a good idea. The employees could be given this phone as something they use specifically for work purposes. This way, sensitive data about your organization stays protected.