Apple was in the news last year for battling it out with the FBI over encryption. During that time, John Oliver, the popular “Last Week Tonight” HBO host, chimed in to help Americans understand why encryption matters. Because it does!
He said, “Beneath the shiny, rose gold surface, they [Apple], like other software companies, are incredibly susceptible to hackers who are constantly finding flaws in their security features.” They dedicate a ton of resources to security and privacy.
And do you know what might be crazy?
To think that we might not be using that security and privacy!
Here are some basic tips on how to encrypt your devices, because even if you’re not Apple, you, too, are susceptible to hackers constantly searching for security flaws. They don’t discriminate between businesses, large and small, or individuals versus corporations versus nations.
Most Apple devices encrypt their data by default. Here’s how to complete the setup if you don’t have Passcode enabled.
- Go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode.
- Turn Passcode On.
- You may want to change your passcode at this time. Alphanumeric is the safest choice.
- Scroll to the bottom of Settings > Touch ID & Passcode to confirm that “Data protection is enabled” displays.
- Good to go!
On Android phones, the lock screen and device encryption are separate. Here’s how to ensure they’re both set up.
- Plug in your phone to your charger. This step is required.
- Under Settings > Security choose “Encrypt phone” option.
- Read the notice and then start the encryption process.
- The phone needs to stay plugged in until complete.
FileVault is available in the Mac OS. Here’s how to set it up.
- Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then Security & Privacy.
- Click the FileVault tab.
- Click the Lock button.
- Enter Admin name and password when prompted.
- Click Turn On FileVault.
- Make a note of the recovery key displayed and store it in your secret vault. (You have one, right? Like Scrooge McDuck?)
- Encryption begins.
Windows 10 sometimes defaults to encryption, sometimes not. It’s moody, we guess. Here’s how to make sure it’s storing your data encrypted or to set it up if it’s not. (Some Windows versions won’t have a built in option, unfortunately.)
- If you don’t have a Pro version of Windows, you may be able to enable Device Encryption.
- Open Settings from the Windows launcher.
- Go to System > About.
- You’ll see a message about Device encryption on this screen here if your version of Windows supports it.
- If you have a Pro, Enterprise, or Education version of Windows 10, you can use BitLocker, which is more secure.
- Go to Control Panel and open BitLocker Drive Encryption.
- Click on Turn on BitLocker.
- Create a passphrase.
- Make a backup of the recovery key using one of the displayed methods.
- Begin encryption.
- If you don’t have BitLocker or Device Encryption for your Windows, you may need to install a separate encryption tool.
With encryption built in to most of your devices, it’s easy to protect your privacy in this way. Go and do it! Feeling more private now? Good! We applaud privacy in all forms.