Encrypt a Phone
Phones may contain as much sensitive data as a laptop computer.
Fortunately, most phones have encryption build in as standard, it is just for you to enable it. Below are instructions for how to activate encryption on iOS (Apple), Android, and Windows 10 based phones.
Fortunately, Apple has included strong encryption software in later iOS versions as standard. When the passcode functionality is activated, the iPhone is quite secure, at least in all normal instances.
Simply activate the passcode by going to SETTINGS on your iPhone followed by TOUCH ID & PASSCODE.
Remember to set a short time. If you set touch ID, you should set it on immediately.
It is also important to activate ERASE DATA on the same screen. The system will then erase the encryption key after 10 failed passcode attempts. By erasing the encryption key, all data will be kept secure by such a strong encryption that it would take a lifetime for a large computer to crack it.
Device encryption works in the much the same way across all Android devices. Some device come with encryption enabled by default these days, such as the Nexus 6 and 9, and if not, Android makes this a very simple process to enable.
For Android handsets and tablets running Android 5.0 Lollipop or newer, you can navigate straight to the “Security” menu under settings. Getting here might be slightly different depending on your OEM, but with stock Android this can be found under Settings > Personal > Security.
Here you should see an option to “Encrypt phone” or “Encrypt tablet”. You’ll be asked to plug your phone in to charge while the process takes place, just to make sure that your phone doesn’t shut off and cause errors.
If you haven’t done so already, you will be prompted to set lock screen PIN or password, which you will need to enter when you turn your phone on or unlock it in order to access your newly encrypted files. Be sure to remember this password!
Windows 10 Mobile
Device encryption is an option that comes disabled by default on Windows phones, but you can easily enable the feature using the following steps:
- While in the Start screen, swipe left to bring All apps, then search for and open the Settings app, and tap on System.
- Next, tap on Device encryption.
- Finally, make sure to slide the Device encryption pill switch to the ON position to enable the feature.
As with all phones, a password PIN must be enabled. If your mobile device doesn’t have one when trying to enable Device encryption, you will be automatically redirected to the Sign-in options settings page to create a PIN. Tap the Add button, under the PIN section, and follow the on-screen wizard to create a new PIN. After the PIN password is created, you can go back to Device encryption settings to verify that the feature has been enabled.
More about encryption
If you do not already have laptop encryption, we strongly advise you to get it. The recent debate between Apple and the FBI about unlocking an iPhone has led to a false sense of security when it comes to laptop computers. Laptops do not have a built-in encryption system that is activated by simply using the passcode. By only having the passcode activated on a laptop, a skilled person can often crack it in less than five minutes and read everything stored on the hard drive. The only way to make sure your data is secure is to encrypt the hard drive on your computer. Deploying hard drive encryption on a PC or MacBook is very easy; just sign up for AlertSec’s seven-day free trial.
All software used for providing an encrypted hard drive by AlertSec is based on the 256-bit AES encryption algorithm and has the highest security certifications: FIPS-140-2, Common Criteria EAL4 and BITS. AlertSec is approved for SOX, HIPAA and PCI compliance.