This summer was a bad phase for Android. It got hit with various vulnerabilities and in the process exposed how weakly the whole OS is weaved with high fragmentation of devices. This makes the patch update for many devices impossible, as the time taken to design and update every device running on Android so much time that in the meantime the vulnerability would have already hit a majority of the devices making the patch update useless.
Here is a way carved up by Ars Technica, on how to encrypt your android device and save you data on the phone, from going to wrong hands, because losing the data and data theft are two different things. This has to be done manually because this setting is not put up by default. Users are entitled to encrypt their devices on their own. Below are the steps to encrypt your phone.
- Go to Settings
- Tap on Security
- Find, Phone Storage Encryption and enable it.
- Make sure that your phone is connected to wall socket on charge, because it takes one good hour to complete the process.
- Once it is done, verify the encryption. You must see a badge, Encrypted under the Phone Storage Encryption option.
While this process will give your phone an extra layer of security it has its downsides. Performance seems to be a matter of concern after encryption of the device. However, the newer phones with 64 bit processors of ARMv8 architecture and faster onboard storage will have minimal impact on performance.
Also, users must note that the only way to decrypt the phone is by deleting all the data. Hence, you have to maintain a backup of your personal data before hand in a secure storage, preferably a physical disk or flash storage with password protection.
If you feel outgunned out there just encrypt your smartphone. Do share your views and experiences in the comments below.