I want to protect my data in case of robbery or loss of my phone; but also to be able to recover my data in case my phone becomes unresponsive/breaks.

Internal memory

This is protected by authentication (PIN/Biometric). Should I also encrypt it? Is already encrypted? And would there be any way to access its files from another device? (e.g. my PC)

SD-Card / External memory

Here will reside most of my personal data. I want to prevent the sensible data from being read without authorization. But should be readable from outside the Android device (in case the phone breaks; or if it needs to be reset to factory defaults).

Not everything strictly needs to be private though.

  • Spotify cache doesn't need to be encrypted.
  • photos/videos, WhatsApp medias or other specific apps' data need to be encrypted.
  • Dropbox, Evernote and other apps are indifferent as they are implemented already with encryption.

# Implementation

I thought to eventually create two partitions of my SD: one encrypted and the other open. But maybe it's overkill.

Android native encryption

This prevents any other devices to access the SD, when took it out and plugged somewhere else.

Also in case of factory reset the access to the encrypted SD is lost completely. What if I have to because of some technical problem that makes my phone unresponsive?

This answer give some insight of how it works.

Generic encrypted filesystem

I am not aware of the options but would be great to have encrypted partitions that ask a verification/authentication when mounted. Ideally Android would manage it automatically (encryption password associated to the system user), authenticating to the SO; while instead mounting the partition on other devices would require to type the auth password manually.

Practically, like the native Android encryption, but with the ability to mount the partition somewhere else, if the password is known.

Does anything like that exist?

Private Area (or similar, depending on the phone brand)

My device provides an encrypted Private Area; but I guess it won't allow any other device (let's say a laptop) to access it.

I don't want to be dependant just on some specific proprietary software, running just on a specific device, in order to secure my data.

Is there any other option using the same approach? (selective protection/encryption/sandboxing)

#UPDATE: I found Parallel Space that seems promising. Not sure if the technology is the same; didn't try it yet, so maybe doesn't fit for encrypting data on SD

Other options

I need to keep most of my personal data and settings on the SD; to have the SD encrypted; and being able to unlock & read it on other devices, inserting a password (either to copy files or to backup in case my Android device doesn't work anymore). All this without rooting the phone.

What are the options available to realise this? Or alternative approaches?

  • I used this open source, multi platform compatible app on the past, to encrypt selected internal / folders. See if it helps you play.google.com/store/apps/… – beeshyams Dec 17 '17 at 3:56
  • Looks like a great tool; and supports many platforms. But requires manual operations for each file/folder (and needs Premium for batching multiple ones). I'm looking more for an automatic en-/decryption option (e.g. photos encrypted automatically once stored). Maybe I am looking for a filesystem solution; but not the "closed one" offered by Android. – Kamafeather Dec 17 '17 at 14:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.