We know your Android phone isn’t encrypted, so here’s how you encrypt it in a few easy steps

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Over the last few weeks due to the Apple vs. FBI case, pervasive media coverage of that case, and consequently a growing concern throughout the world regarding our digital privacy, the word encryption seems to be on many people’s minds. Of course that doesn’t mean that many people have actually encrypted their device(s).

Statistically speaking if you are using an Android phone then there is very little chance that your device has been encrypted – according to reports only 10 percent of the 1.4 billion Android devices have been encrypted.  Most iPhones are already encrypted, close to all (here’s a list of alternative ways to encrypt your iPhone should you choose to bypass Apple’s under-siege encryption) in fact, but because of Google being a bit late to the party apropos encryption their phones are wide open.

How do I encrypt my Android phone?

First of all, if you are running Android 6.0 your device is already encrypted. You can stop reading here. If you’re running an ancient Android device you might want to consider buying a new one or upgrading.

Secondly, this process might take some time, so don’t do this when you are running low on battery life. It’s also prudent to back up all your data.

Ok, the technical part. Go to Settings and then Lock Screen, Screen Lock and input your password … you’ll be asked to input your old one and then a new one, not 1,2,3,4,5,6. From there go to SettingsSystemSecurityEncrypt device and Encrypt phone (tablet) and input password.

Now you can just wait for your phone or tablet to encrypt. This may take some time, up to an hour, and you’ll also be given a warning that if you interrupt your device while it is encrypting you could lose “some” or “all” of your data. So fully charge and walk away. You will also be informed that the only way back from this is to wipe all your data.

You can encrypt your external SD card by going back to Settings, System, Security, Encrypt external SD card and Enable. Note that this means that you will not be able to use this card on other devices after this.

Photo credit: eek the cat via Flickr