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Your smartphone is crammed with sensitive information about your life, from confidential business emails and mobile banking passwords to private photos and social media logins. That means you should secure it as carefully as you would your credit cards or your personal computer.

Encryption is a great way to keep your information safe. Put simply, it scrambles your data so that no one can read it unless they have the PIN code or password. This can protect you from having your information and identity stolen if your smartphone falls into the wrong hands.

Encrypting your device could slow down the performance of your device, but not to a noticeable extent if you have downloaded the latest version of your operating system and have a fairly new smartphone. Here are some tips from Alcatel on how to encrypt data on your Android smartphone:

Step 1

Open settings, go to the security menu and select “encrypt phone”. You will be prompted to plug your device into a charger.

Step 2

Your smartphone will ask you to set a lock screen PIN or password. Don’t forget this code because you’ll need it to decrypt your files.

Step 3

Pay careful attention to the notifications and warnings. It’s especially important not to interrupt the encryption process once it starts.

Step 4

The phone will begin encrypting your data after a reboot.

Two important points to note:

  • On newer versions of Android, you cannot disable encryption—not even with a factory reset – if you decide you no longer want to encrypt your files.
  • Do not interfere with the encryption process once it starts as you may lose your data.
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