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How to Protect Your Smartphone in a Police Search

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Smartphones used much more often for storing passwords and accessing financial information than for making calls. A smartphone is a personal assistant that goes everywhere with you, so it’s difficult not to store sensitive information on them. One of the major concerns of using smartphones in this way is the inability to prevent access by unauthorized persons should you leave it somewhere, or if you’re subjected to a search.

When it comes to protecting your smartphone, having a password may not be enough. To prevent police or anyone else easily accessing your information you should consider the following:

Full Disk Encryption

Encrypt should be a mantra for anyone who owns a smartphone. Encrypting data offers a good level of security against your smartphone data been stolen or accessed. While many Androids do not come with data encryption software, there are enough third-party apps available to solve this problem.

Using these apps, it is possible to encrypt all your data, including email, text messages or pictures. There are also apps just for encrypting select data format such as Cypher, for text messages, and NitroDesk TouchDown, for email. Some of these apps include:

  • Firebox for iPhone encrypts data using Blowfish encryption algorithm. This app cost $5.99
  • My Eyes Only and Photo Safe by My Eyes Only for iPhones is available for $3.99 and $2.99 from the app store. The latter is useful for keeping pictures private when unauthorized access.
  • Loky for Androids is a multipurpose app that has a free versions as well as a more robust version costing around $16.
  • Droid Crypt for Android phones cost $3.00 and offers both encryption and decryption solutions to protect your data, pictures and other data formats as well as files on SD cards. This app also stands up well against many data recovery tools.

With the iPhone, the first step towards data protection is using the passcode lock in the General Settings. If you have an updated Apple device, there will be some level of data protection available. Using these is better than no security at all.

Install Updates

As bothersome as it may seem, installing updates is a great way to enhance the security of your smartphone. Generally, each update has some security enhancement to help protect your phone from unauthorized access. Having the most current updates for security and protection apps is important for continued protection.

Keep Your Phone Locked

This is a simple step, but many smartphone owners neglect it. If you are searched by the police, there is nothing stopping an officer from accessing your information. Locking your phone with an alphanumeric password is the best safeguard. While many smartphones are not hard to open, why make it easy whether for the police or anyone else who tries to access your information.

In some cases, protecting your smartphones from police searches is a fairly simply matter. If the police claim to have a warrant to search, ask to see it to verify what they have the right to search based on the warrant. It is your right to do so. If they simply ask your permission to search your phone or other electronic devices, you can say no.

Some experts advise that it is always safer to say no to such a request whether or not you have sensitive information on your phone. Remember that you are under no obligation to disclose your password or encrypted information for your electronic devices such as computers and phones to the police.

Keeping Your Information Safe

In addition to keeping your information safe in a police search, if your phone is not on your person it cannot be searched. As such, whenever possible if in a car or at home, keep the phone in a glove compartment or on a table. They can take the phone but cannot search it right away without a warrant.

Protecting your smartphone data requires the use of apps from reputable developers as much as possible, which is why many choose to stay connected with the top phones. Some of these solutions may seem like a lot to do, but remember that your phone has lots of personal information you want to keep private. No solution is foolproof, but in a police search it is better to have some level of protection for your smartphone data.

This article was written by Ella Mason, an experienced freelance writer. Ella specializes in providing informative gadget and technology advice for other users.

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