With data hacks and breaches hitting the headlines time and time again, security and privacy have become hot topics lately. If you, like many other people, are looking to keep your data from falling into the wrong hands, the best solution is to encrypt it.
This is particularly true for devices that tend to get lost or stolen, like your smartphone. You wouldn’t want your text messages, contacts, emails, photos, and other personal information to be accessible to anyone if you, say, leave your phone behind in a restaurant.
For this reason, it’s important that you know how to use encryption – whether you prefer Apple’s iOS-powered iPhone and iPad or Google’s Android-powered phones and tablets. In the coming paragraphs, we’ll take a close look at what device encryption is and how you can do it.
What is smartphone encryption?
In simple terms, smartphone encryption transforms all the data on your mobile into an undecipherable format that can only be read with the unique key available to you.
When you want to access the data, you’ll have to use the key to initiate the decryption process and convert it back into an understandable format.
The dispute between Apple and FBI over smartphone encryption is a great example of just how effective the technology can actually be!
Is it a good idea to encrypt your smartphone?
You might be wondering why to bother encrypting your smartphone when you don’t have much data stored on it in the first place. If you have already set up a lock screen with a password or another form of user authentication such as a fingerprint, shouldn’t that be enough?
Even if you lock down your phone, the information behind that defensive wall is still readable. By encrypting your data, you can step up your protection game. It’s rendered unusable, so even if a hacker gets around the lock screen, he won’t be able to do anything without the key.
There are some downsides you need to consider, though. It will take longer to log into your device because of the decryption process that takes place. Also, once you decide to encrypt your Android phone, you’ll have to factory reset your device if you want to reverse it.
However, for the privacy and security conscious, that little inconvenience is worth it to keep their personal data completely secure and private. With that out of the way, let’s move on to the steps needed to encrypt your smartphone.
How to encrypt your iPhone?
On iOS devices, the encryption process occurs automatically when you set a passcode. Just follow these easy steps below to encrypt the data stored on your iPhone or iPad:
- Go to the Settings
- Scroll down until you find the Touch ID & Passcode option and tap it.
- Tap Turn Passcode On.
- You can then type a 4-digit, 6-digit or longer numerical or alphanumeric passcode.
How to encrypt your Android phone?
Most devices running newer Android versions have encryption enabled by default. If not, the process is quite simple. Just follow these easy steps to encrypt the data stored on your Android phone or tablet:
- Your device needs to be charged at least 80%, otherwise you won’t be able to begin the encryption process. So, plug it into the charger to ensure everything goes smoothly.
- If you haven’t locked your device with passcode or password, do so now by tapping Settings > Screen Lock > Screen Lock Type.
- Go back to the Settings menu, and tap Encrypt phone (or tablet depending on the device you’re using) in the Encryption section.
- To begin the encryption process, hit ENCRYPT PHONE It’ll take anywhere between an hour or more, so sit down and watch your favorite Netflix show in the meantime!
Why should you use a VPN on your phone?
So, you have encrypted your smartphone but what about the data you’re transmitting over the Internet? It’s sent in the open and without any protection which means anyone with the right tools and know-how can intercept and use your data to their advantage.
This is precisely where virtual private networks (aka VPNs) and their encryption capabilities come into play. When you connect to one on your smartphone, all your traffic is routed through a secure tunnel instead of your normal Internet connection.
As a result, nobody – like ISPs, government agencies, corporations, and advertisers, etc. – from the outside will be able to eavesdrop on your personal data. All they’d see is a bunch of gibberish, which can’t be deciphered without knowing the correct key.
PureVPN – The Best Mobile VPN!
Using a VPN on your smartphone is an absolute must, and you’ll be glad to know that PureVPN has easy-to-use apps for both iOS and Android. Just install it on your device, choose a VPN server, hit connect, and all your online data will be protected.
Since we use military-grade AES-256 bit encryption on your connections, you can go about your online activities with peace of mind, knowing that your private information is safe from any prying eyes that might be watching.
Moreover, we also offer an array of VPN features to further enhance the security and privacy of your data, including but not limited to Internet Kill Switch, DNS Leak Protection, Split Tunneling, WebRTC Leak Protection, and more!
Wrapping Things Up
Considering the amount of sensitive data that we store on our smartphones these days, encrypting your phone or tablet is indeed a step in the right direction. However, smartphone encryption isn’t a one-stop solution to safeguarding all your data – what you do online is still unencrypted for anyone to see.
That’s why, in addition to encrypting your smartphone, you should also employ the use of a reliable mobile VPN like PureVPN in your daily life. All the data you send and receive on the Internet will be secured with top-of-the-line encryption, putting your security worries to rest once and for all.