Why should you encrypt phone data?

Anton P. | December 10, 2020

Techniques to encrypt phone’s data are no longer exclusively for cryptography geniuses. Nowadays, encryption is a term tossed in various contexts, from professional industries and tech geeks to regular netizens. For smartphone owners, encryption means a sturdy barrier defending private data. Typically, many users might settle for a lock screen, pushing further encryption aside as downright overkill. However, the decision to encrypt phone data means that the window for unauthorized access becomes incredibly narrow. In addition to full-on encryption, smartphone users can choose apps that secure their information flow automatically.

Why should you encrypt phone content?

Encryption is an inventive process subjected to a great deal of criticism. Typically, it is the wall securing assets on electronic devices. For smartphones, it means turning photos, files, screenshots, text conversations, or web traffic into undecipherable gibberish. Without a decryption key, no one can access them. There is no shortage of digital services dipping their toes into the encryption pool. Whichever route to encrypt phone data you take, it is always a good idea. Furthermore, performance setbacks should also be minor, unless you use an older model.

In the current highly-connected age, smartphones are central gadgets for almost any routine previously performed on computers. From taking scenery pictures to quickly scanning our passports via convenient apps, mobile devices can do it all. During such activities, we accumulate an impressive amount of data on our phones. The natural urge might be to encrypt it, but a surprisingly small number of folks do perform this action. Lock screens on phones can break via dedicated attempts from tech enthusiasts or hackers. Then, the culprit has access to all private information stored on your device. Deciding to encrypt phones with all their assets could be the only salvation if someone bypasses your lock screen.

Why do people rarely encrypt phones?

While splendidly useful security-wise, encryption of entire smartphone data is not the most practical. The main setback is the troublesome daily use of an encrypted phone. Each time you require access to information, you will need to go over the repetitive decryption routine. Additionally, one of the biggest turn-offs is the fact that encrypted data cannot return to its original form. Hence, the decision to encrypt phones is only reversible with a factory reset. Considering that, you might want to backup your data before starting the encryption process.

The full information scrambling might not be everyone’s cup of tea. However, encryption for certain activities rapidly becomes a preference. People want to encrypt phones in certain areas, especially their communications online. It is a grim reality that the internet works in a rather intrusive way, giving people barely any privacy. Besides the innate internet issues, hackers can steal data in transit, leading to severe identity breaches, stalking, or doxing. Hence, encrypt phones’ goal expands to the necessity of surrounding them in a safety bubble from the online environment.

Encrypt phone: available practices

  • Traditional phone data encryption. Scrambling all smartphone data is a nearly foolproof technique. Pair it with a secure lock screen method, and your phone becomes a fortress of security. If setbacks in usability do not frighten you, go for this option. If you store highly confidential information or business documents, it might be a crucial protection measure. There is some preparation involved, as well. For instance, Androids need to have over 80% battery power to begin the encryption. Additionally, the entire process could take an hour, depending on how much data you have.
  • Privacy-first messaging apps. You would not like your conversations to reach people beyond the intended recipients. Instant messaging apps like Signal or WhatsApp offer default end-to-end encryption. By using such communication tools, you can encrypt phone chats seamlessly.
  • iCloud encryption. You might not store all personal details locally. Some of them could proudly reside in iCloud storage. In most cases, encryption of backups is not active by default. You need to enable it manually, which is something we recommend.
  • Web traffic encryption. Chances are, your smartphone is online nonstop. Besides messaging friends, you will likely perform quick transactions, log into accounts, or simply browse the web. Without using additional means to encrypt phone traffic, some of it could travel without any protection. Simple translation: hackers and trackers receive a tremendous amount of data about you. In worst-case scenarios, it could compromise medical records, banking accounts, and various credentials.

A VPN is a tool dedicated to preventing similar accidents. For instance, Atlas VPN uses AES-256 encryption to protect smartphones from leaking personal details altogether. Once you venture online, hackers, marketers, governments, and tech companies collect traces of your digital identity. Deciding to encrypt phone web traffic is an excellent solution to keeping such intrusive entities away. They will no longer have the opportunity to collect data about your internet activities or monetize your browsing patterns.

Anton P.

Anton P.

Former chef and the head of Atlas VPN blog team. He's an experienced cybersecurity expert with a background of technical content writing.

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