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  • Writer's pictureBurton Kelso, Tech Expert

How to Encrypt The Data on Your Computers, Smartphones, and Tablets

If you're in the habit of carrying any device such as a computer, smartphone, or tablet in your everyday travels, you really need to consider enabling data encryption on those gadgets. Data encryption is widely used by large corporations to protect user information and is starting to become more common with individual users. Encryption works by scrambling your device's data in the event a criminal steals your tech. It is one of the best ways to make sure the information that's stored on your tech devices can't be stolen and read by someone who wants to use it for malicious purposes. If you're looking to keep your information safe and out of prying eyes, check out these quick tips and tricks to keep your portable devices safe.

You probably didn't know it, but all tech devices have some of data encryption software built-in. This feature isn't enabled by default because tech companies know that many of you fail to backup your devices. If you lose your encryption password or key, you will not be able to get your information back. So the best practice is to set up a form of automatic backup for your gadgets so in the event you can't get into an encrypted device, you will have your data in the form of a backup copy.

Follow the steps below for encrypting your devices. Once complete, you will only need to enter a password when turning on or waking up your device to automatically decrypt your data.

How to encrypt your Mac

  1. Go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > FileVault.

  2. Click “Turn On FileVault…”

  3. IMPORTANT: Make a note of the recovery key that is displayed and store it away from your Mac.

  4. Wait for encryption to complete, but it’s OK to continue using the computer.

How to encrypt your Windows device

Note: BitLocker may not be available in all versions of Windows.

  1. Go to Control Panel > BitLocker Drive Encryption.

  2. Click “Turn on BitLocker” next to the drive you want to encrypt.

  3. Enter a long and varied alphanumeric password or passphrase.

  4. IMPORTANT: Make a backup of the recovery key using one of the displayed methods.

  5. Choose whether to encrypt used disk space only (faster) and start the encryption process.

How to encrypt your iPhone

  1. Go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode.

  2. Press “Turn Passcode On” if not enabled already.

  3. Press “Passcode options” to choose a custom numeric or alphanumeric code (recommended).

  4. Confirm your device is encrypted by scrolling to the bottom of the Settings > Touch ID & Passcode screen. You should see the “Data protection is enabled” message.

How to encrypt your Android device

  1. Plugin the device to charge the battery (required).

  2. Make sure a password or PIN is set in Security > Screen lock.

  3. Go to Settings > Security.

  4. Press the “Encrypt phone” option.

  5. Read the notice and press “Encrypt phone” to start the encryption process.

  6. Remember to keep the phone plugged in until complete.

Another good tip to keep up with your devices in the event they are stolen is to enable 'Find My Device' on all of your tech devices. This feature is included for all devices and can help you recover your stuff.

I hope you can use these tips to prevent your device data from being stolen by hackers. If you need further assistance, please reach out to me with any questions you might have. I am always happy to help!

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Need computer or technology help? If you need on-site or remote tech support for your Windows\Macintosh, computers, laptops, Android/Apple smartphone, tablets, printers, routers, smart home devices, and anything that connects to the Internet, please feel free to contact my team at Integral. Our team of friendly tech experts organization can help you with any IT needs you might have. Reach out to us a or phone at 888.256.0829. 

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