Affinity Consulting Blog

No lawyer should carry a smart phone or tablet that does not have a passcode enabled. This applies to all devices regardless of operating system. To be truly useful, these devices must contain a great deal of information about us, our firms, and our clients. But because they are portable, they can be lost or stolen.

When the inevitable happens and your phone or tablet goes missing, you want to be sure your personal, firm, and client data cannot be compromised by anyone who happens to gain possession of your phone or tablet. On unecrypted phones, the passcode only locks the screen. It does not secure the information sitting in files on the device. After securing your device with a passcode, the next step is to be sure the device's contents are encrypted.

Encryption is enabled by default on iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad. Encryption is also built into newer versions of Android (Gingerbread 2.3.4 or higher), but is not enabled by default. Fortunately, enabling encryption in Android is easy. Once enabled, the steps needed to access and use your phone are limited to entering your pre-selected passcode.

Here is what you need to do. First, in your Settings menu, select Security (which may be hidden under the More tab). Once in the Security menu, one choice will be to Encrypt Device. Select this choice and you will be prompted to enter a passcode. After you enter and confirm a passcode, the phone or tablet will start the process of encrypting files. It can take a while and uses a lot of battery, so make sure your phone is fully charged and plugged in before you start the encryption process.

Make sure your store your passcode in a safe place. Without it you cannot access your phone and it will become useless. There is no method to recover a forgotten passcode.

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