The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge is encrypted by default, but there’s a way to add an additional later of protection in case it gets lost or stolen.
As I mentioned yesterday, most premium smartphones sold today have encryption enabled by default. The tutorial from yesterday focused on how to enable encryption for the data on your microSD card but today’s tip will be focusing on the phone itself. By default, you can reboot the Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge and it will take you directly to the Android lock screen. This means that it has booted into Android and certain features will be accessible. Even worse, if there’s a way to bypass the lock screen(which there has been ways in the past), then someone could access your data.
To prevent this, we’re going to enable full encryption protection on the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. What this means is, when the smartphone reboots, it will go through the regular animation boot screens like normal. However, instead of booting directly into Android itself, it’s going to require that you input your lock screen password/PIN/pattern before it boots into Android. This is the best way to protect the data on your smartphone and it’s something that I recommend doing. Thankfully, it’s not adding too much of an inconvenience to your daily usage pattern. Since most people rarely reboot their phones, it will probably be rare for you to even see this screen at all.
So let me show you how to enable encryption protection on the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge.
Galaxy S7 Enable Encryption Protection
- Launch the Settings Application
- Scroll Down and Tap on the ‘Lock Screen and Security’ Option
- Then Tap on the ‘Protect Encrypted Data’ Option
- Tap on the ‘Require Lock Screen’ Option
- Tap on the ‘OK’ Button at the Bottom
- Input Your PIN/Pattern/Password to Confirm
- Then Reboot the Galaxy S7 to See it in Action
As with most of these features, you’ll have to dig through the Settings application to find it. If you have never even looked through the Lock Screen and Security section then you probably didn’t even realize it was there. I wish that Samsung would enable this feature by default, but at least the option is there for those who want it. To begin, we’ll have to launch the Settings application and then dive into the Lock Screen and Security section of the menu. Look toward the bottom(or even scroll down a little) and then tap on the Protect Encrypted Data option.
This will take you to a screen where you have two options. One options enables this feature and says it will ‘require screen lock to decrypt data when phone turns on’. Your data will still be encrypted when this feature is enabled. To use the phone though, the Galaxy S7 has to decrypt it and that is why that word is in there. This data will still be unreadable on other devices and that’s a big benefit of encryption in general. If you ever want to disable this feature in the future(maybe you don’t like the hassle of putting in your PIN/pattern/password at each boot), then you can disable it by tapping on the Do Not Require option.
No matter which option you pick, you’ll then be asked to confirm your security PIN/password/pattern to make sure it’s really you who is enabling the feature. After that, the Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge will take you back to the Settings menu and that will be it. If you want to see exactly what changes(I demonstrate this in the video above), then you can simply reboot your Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge. As mentioned earlier, you’ll see the regular boot animation screens but instead of immediately taking you to the lock screen, you’ll be asked to input your PIN/password/pattern. After enter this correctly, then you’ll see the Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge booting into Android.
The process only adds a few seconds to your boot cycle so it really isn’t that bad. With the additional layer of protection that this feature gives, I feel it is most definitely worth the tiny delay. The choice is up to you though. Some people don’t feel the need to protect the data on their smartphones and that is their choice.
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