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This is how you know if your phone is protected by encryption

Most modern smartphones have it enabled by default, but it’s easy to check just in case.

Smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S7 have encryption enabled by default, but you should always check just in case.
Smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S7 have encryption enabled by default, but you should always check just in case.
Image: AP Photo/Manu Fernadez

WHEN WE THINK of phone security, the first things that come to mind would be the likes of our PIN, lock screen, fingerprint scanners and passwords.

What you might not have considered is encryption, a method that scrambles up all your information so it doesn’t make sense to anyone except those possessing the necessary key needed to decrypt it.

In short, it prevents anyone from gaining access to your phone’s info unless they physically have your phone and know your PIN or password.

Thankfully it’s now becoming a standard feature for both your phone and services like WhatsApp and iMessage use encryption. If you’re unsure whether your device is encrypted, it’s very easy to check.

If you’re an iPhone owner, the good news is it’s enabled by default, but you can make it stronger by having a PIN or password protecting your account. Data encryption on your iPhone is tied into your PIN or password so it’s recommended you go for a 6-digit PIN instead of the weaker 4-digit option, or go for a complex password entirely.

If you want to change it, go into Settings > Touch ID & Passcode > Change Passcode to update it.

If you want to see if your device is encrypted, go into Touch ID & Passcode and scroll all the way to the bottom. Down there, it should say ‘Data protection is enabled’.

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If you’re an Android user, automatic encryption will depend on the type of phone you’re using. Newer Android devices have it enabled by default thanks to the introduction of Lollipop and Marshmallow, but you should check just in case. Thankfully, it’s easy to set up if it isn’t.

Go to Settings > Security and you will see the Encrypt Phone option. If your phone is already encrypted, it will say so but if not, tap on it and follow the instructions.

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A word of warning: Depending on the type of smartphone you have, encryption can affect the overall speed of your phone as encrypted files take a bit longer to open up than non-encrypted.

If you do that and you want to revert to the standard, you will have to factory reset your device, which will wipe your phone clean. If you have a low- or mid-range device, it’s worth considering this first before you do anything.

Read: There’s a way to get a more accurate read of your phone’s reception >

Read: The last Video Cassette Recorder EVER is about to roll off the production line in Japan… >

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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