Encrypting files on your Android device allows you to keep those files from being stolen, and even if they get stolen they would be unreadable as long as they are not decrypted using a proper key. What encrypting a file does is change the file and make it something it is not. When you decrypt it, it gets back to its original form.
The default Android system does allow you to encrypt your whole device, but if you are looking to encrypt selected files, you will need a third-party app.
Here’s how you can use a third-party app to encrypt files.
Encrypting Files on an Android Device
In order to encrypt files on your device, you are going to use an app called Andrognito 2 that uses the 256-bit encryption algorithm to securely safeguard your files.
1. Head over to the Google Play store and download and install Andrognito 2 on your device.
2. Launch the app.
3. When the app is launched for the first time, you need to enter your name and a 4-digit PIN that will safeguard your files. Do so and tap on arrow to move forward.
4. Enter the 4-digit PIN again to confirm it. Tap on the arrow icon to move forward.
5. For an extra layer of security, it will ask you to create a security question. Type in the question and answer, and tap on the arrow icon to move ahead.
6. Here comes the part where you can create a vault to put your encrypted files in. Type in a name for the vault and a 4-digit PIN. Tap on the pink icon, and you will move to the next screen.
7. You can now start adding files to the vault for encryption. Tap on the “+” icon on your screen and select either All Files, Images, or Videos to be encrypted.
8. Tap and hold on a file for the encryption option to show-up. You can select multiple files to be encrypted all at once. When you are done selecting, tap on the lock icon given in the top-right corner to encrypt the selected files.
9. You should see the following orange icon on your screen when the files are successfully encrypted.
The selected files have been encrypted using a military-grade AES 256-bit encryption algorithm. If someone gets access to these files they will not be able to read them unless they have the key that was used to encrypt the files.
If you wish to decrypt the files, you can do so using the same app.
Decrypting the Files
1. Launch the Andrognito 2 app from your app drawer.
2. Enter your 4-digit PIN to access the safeguarded data.
3. You should be able to see all the files that you have encrypted so far. Tap and hold on the ones that you wish to decrypt, then tap on the unlock icon given in the top-right corner. It should decrypt the selected files for you.
Your files are now decrypted, and they are no longer a part of your vault. They can now be accessed as normal files just like you were accessing them before.
While locking a file allows you to have an additional layer before someone can access your files, encrypting provides more protection as it just wholly changes your files in order to make them unreadable by any user but you.
Let us know how it works for you in the comments section below!