For the longest time Android devices weren’t encrypted by default. When you use a version below Android 6.0 Marshmallow your device is completely wide open. This is of course fine, as encryption isn’t a life and death thing, and if you really wanted full device encryption, Android lets you do so, but for those who are picky about privacy on their handset it leaves a bit more to be desired.
Full device encryption pre-Android Marshmallow is generally regarded as OK. It’s not amazing or anything, but it gets the job done. Sadly, though, since Google didn’t really pick up their security chops till Marshmallow, we’ve decided to make a list of supplemental file encryption tools you can use to increase encryption on your phone.
1. Andrognito 2
Andrognito 2 has already been talked about, and in fact, if you’re looking to get your files encrypted on Android, this is probably the way to go. Check out this guide, and you’ll learn how to get up and running with it. The guide goes over how easy it is to encrypt individual files which is great for pre-Marshmallow devices.
The great thing about Andrognito 2 is that with it you’ll be able to use “military-grade” AES 256-bit encryption to protect your individual files. This means no worrying about prying eyes getting to your important data. The app also supports invisible mode, a “fake crash” mode to deceive unwanted users, dynamic PIN numbers, automatic backup, file import and even themes.
Though not as modern as Andrognito 2, SSE proves an entire encryption tool set for Android doesn’t have to be! With SSE you get more than just a file encryption tool. Instead, you get a vault to store all of your important password information, a text encryption tool to lock up important documents, and the ability to encrypt entire directories or individual files.
Along with all of that, SSE also comes with a secure password generation tool and a clipboard cleaner. Everything is run with particularly strong encryption algorithms, such as AES (Rijndael) 256bit, RC6 256bit, Serpent 256bit, Blowfish 448bit, Twofish 256bit, GOST 256bit (and more in the pro version).
Have you ever wanted to encrypt something before you share it to a popular cloud storage service? With Boxcryptor this is entirely possible. The app supports a multitude of storage providers (mainly Google Drive, Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive). When you lock up your file, it’s secured and encrypted with the AES-256 algorithm, and both encryption and decryption is done directly on the device itself.
The free version just allows for basic encryption, but if you buy the Unlimited version of the app, you’ll also be able to obfuscate individual filenames as well. Such a feature is incredibly useful when you’re looking to secure your data and files from prying eyes.
Vault isn’t as complex or feature-filled as the other apps on this list. In fact, it’s a very simplistic and easy-to-understand program, which is perfect for those who don’t normally know a whole lot about encryption. However, if what you want is just the ability to lock up different types of files, this application should be considered a serious contender.
The app supports pdfs, images, videos and mp3 files. The encryption algorithm used is 256-bit AES, and it also supports password protection, as well as native camera support, automatic logout, break-in alarms, and even a stealth mode. If you need a basic encryption app, vault may be just what you need.
Privacy when it comes to data is important. No, it’s not the end of the world if you choose not to encrypt and lock up your data from snoops. It’s totally understandable, as there can be considerable effort going into it. However, it’s hard to deny that we live in a world with increasingly more corporate and state-sponsored spying.
Making this argument on Android can seem pointless as Google could be considered a big privacy offender, but considering a lot of people use Android (and don’t have the latest version that allows for full device encryption), loading up on third-party applications to supplement this is a no-brainer.
What file encryption tools and applications do you use on Android? Let us know below!