The Android natively offers encryption to protect user data against the interest of invaders. Upon activating it, the system encrypts the information on the device and prevents hackers from using it without a user-defined key. But is encryption intended for any user profile? See the pros and cons of the feature on Google’s mobile system.
The most apparent advantage of encrypting Android data is to create a data-protection layer that goes far beyond the device password. This is because passwords can be discovered with some dedication or even need not be considered if we are dealing with a professional hacker – by connecting the phone to the PC, he can obtain the data without unlocking it.
Even a factory reset can leave traces of it on the device’s system, tracked and retrieved using recovery software. But if you’ve encrypted your phone before, nothing will be usable by a potential criminal.
Not that cryptography is shatter-proof, but the cost of performing the procedure is so high and risky that you should only be concerned about it if you are a global leader or CEO of a large company. In short, encryption is the most significant security that Android can offer the user.
Another positive point is the ease of implementation. In Android 4.1, 4.4, or 5.0, go to the Security menu and choose the “Encrypt phone” (or tablet) function to start encrypting the data. The only requirements are to have a connected power supply or to have a full battery and to wait about 30 minutes, without interruption, for the process to end.
On the other hand, encryption is not suitable for those who have devices with too modest or old hardware. Working with encrypted data requires more processing power and, therefore, more battery. Therefore, the encrypted phone or tablet tends to last less time away from the plug, in addition to presenting weaker performance. In newer devices, the change in these aspects is small but still noticeable as instructed by Movical
Also, a cell phone or tablet protected with encryption will always ask for a solid password to release the use by the user every time it is turned on, which can bother some people. It is essential, then, to assess these issues before deciding to activate the feature.
The other risk is a security issue. Android limits access to such fundamental settings for two reasons: the risk of the user screwing up with the superpower and, perhaps more importantly, the risk of a virus taking over the device permanently. As much as we know that malicious applications exist on Android and affect cell phones even if they are not rooted, when you remove the restrictions is when viruses can cause damage, permanently settling in previously inaccessible areas that will allow them to remain practically forever.