I need to encrypt my full file system on Android device. From this link, I understand that Android provides support to enable full file system encryption based on a password but that need to be enabled explicitly. However, this link doesn't give complete details about the implementation (particularly for new users).

Has any one enabled this kind of encryption so far? Do people think that this is safe to do or it has some other drawbacks?

  • I'm not sure I understand what you're asking. Do you want to know about the encryption provided by ICS and how it works? Are you trying to find and use a different encryption scheme? What are you looking to accomplish? – eldarerathis Mar 3 '12 at 19:59
  • I want to enable the default encryption on my file system so that my device by default encrypts all the data written to that file system and decrypts while reading it back. From the given link, it looked like Android 3.0 itself supports that but we need to enable it explicitly. I wanted to know how can we enable that. – Buchi Mar 3 '12 at 20:06
  • Are you looking to encrypt the internal nand flash or external. From whatever I read most of the links point to encryption of the internal storage to protect personal information. The encryption using a blocked device is a feature that should be supported by the firmware provider without which I doubt you would be able to work off an encrypted external storage. – user13217 Mar 7 '12 at 17:29
  • Yes, I need to encrypt the external storage as well. – Buchi Mar 9 '12 at 7:13

In Honeycomb the option is in Settings -> Location and security. In Ice Cream Sandwich it's at Settings -> Personal -> Security -> Encryption.

If you're wondering about how Android does encryption, take a look at this: http://source.android.com/tech/encryption/android_crypto_implementation.html

Naturally encrypting and decrypting requires some overhead, but I wouldn't expect it to be too bad. Undoing encryption does require a factory reset, so if you're doing it "just to try" you may want to do a backup first. If you're worried about security then I would definitely advise you to use it.


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