Secure U: Encrypt your mobile device

Students and a professor looking at a computer together

Looking for a quick and easy way to protect all of the information you have on your mobile device? Encryption is the answer!

Encryption may sound like a complicated or arduous process, but on most new mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, encryption is enabled by default. If it is not, setting it up is as easy as turning a setting from "off" to "on."

If you have an Android, check out the "Security" section of your settings. On a Windows device, the setting is called "Device Encryption," in your "System" settings. All new Apple devices come automatically configured with standard device encryption.

Encryption is your device's ability to convert information into a ciphertext to prevent unauthorized access. Essentially, it scrambles up your data when your device is locked, making it only accessible to someone with the right access.

The right access could be a PIN number, fingerprint or biometric verification, or a combination of several types of authentication. Information stays jumbled and is inaccessible without the passkey to the device, so even if someone takes your computer, phone, or tablet, they cannot crack into the stored data if they don't have your PIN, passphrase, or other code.

Your mobile device may have sensitive information stored on it, such as saved passwords that would enable anyone to access your texts or instant messages, credit card information, or sensitive University information. Think about the photos on your cell phone, stored banking information, email correspondence, grades or answer keys, or research data. Easy encryption adds a strong layer of security to all of this information and more.