Google’s next version of Android will encrypt your information by default, meaning it will be even harder for hackers to obtain personal data from you Android phone or tablet.
Encryption is a safety mechanism that makes it harder for intruders to read your data when it’s intercepted. Encryption turns sensitive information such as credit card numbers and passwords into unintelligible gibberish when it’s being transmitted. This means that if it’s intercepted between servers, the hacker won’t be able to actually read the information.
Although Google has offered encryption for Android devices since 2011, security experts have said most users don’t know how to turn it on, according to The Washington Post. Once Android L rolls out sometime this fall, those using Android devices won’t have to worry about figuring out how to set it up.
Apple also recently announced that its new iPhone update, iOS 8, will also automatically encrypt user information. The new software launched on Wednesday, just as Apple CEO Tim Cook issued a public letter on the company’s commitment to privacy following the recent iCloud scandal.
If you want to set up encryption on your Android phone today while you wait for Android L, Google has instructions here. You should note, however, that encryption is irreversible, so you would have to factory reset your phone if you want to decrypt it. Some users have complained that encryption has slowed down their Android devices. It’s unclear if Google has found a way around that hiccup with Android L.
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