Poll: Encrypting Phone & Data

FP’s are rooted by default.


Hello there,

I have encrypted my phone plus data, but now I seem to have an annoying problem:
When my phone is switched off during the night, my alarm clock doesn’t work anymore! I would expect the phone to come to life when it’s time for the alarm clock to ring, but since the encryption nothing happens! This is really annoying, because now for the first time I overslept during my nightshift! Luckily, one of the older children that live in the children’s home where I work got up in time and woke me up, otherwise all the children of my group would have overslept, too and would have been late for school today…
Later, I tried it again, I activated my alarm clock, switched the phone off and waited, but nothing happened!
I hope there is a possibility to fix this!

Greetings, Jessica

I didn’t know about this feature and I’m very interested but I’ll wait until all the issues will be resolved :smiley:

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I guess that the number of ‘No’ answers won’t reflect users’ attitude, since those who (like me) don’t care about encryption probably won’t bother to read the thread.
It’s great that the option is available (even if it seems a bit tricky to set it up and it appears to have some unforeseen consequences) but for my part I don’t feel the need - I don’t save any sensitive or personal data on my phone.


@carpe_diem80 - I’ve not had any problems like this, but then I don’t switch my phone off ever. I’ll have a go and see if this is repeatable for me too

I have encrypted my Fairphone. I am very happy we have this possibility because some manufacturers seem to remove that option from Android.
There are some minor annoying problems though and i think the most obvious one is that you will have to enter your device password twice each time your powered your phone of and want to power it on again. I am pretty sure when Android L is released, Google will have found a solution for this.

Also, the Fairphone Support Article oversimplifies a bit: The encryption makes your device somehow more secure against specific attack vectors, but when its powered on, the data is decrypted. So everybody trying to hack a phone powered on, will have the same access as on a unecrypted device. This is not specific to Fairphone or Android, it is the same with Mac OS (FileVault), Windows (BitLocker) and Linux (dm-crypt) device encryption.

Other then that, i have no problems with encryption and did not notice slower operation. I will have a look at the alarm problem @carpe_diem80 mentioned above tomorrow morning and report back here.

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Actually voting “Yes”, I’ve now returned to a non-encrypted system, because of the drawbacks. Combined, they weigh more than the gained security I would get on my privately used phone.

The problem I’ve experienced right after encryption, was the incorrect handling of the SIM cards (detection problem, could not be activated or deactived in the settings), similar to the one described by @Chris_R.

Furthermore, I’m unsatisfied with the linkage of the encryption password to the screen lock password. This is IMO a security whole. Even if I change the encryption password separately afterwards, it will be changed back to the screen lock’s one, if latter is changed again. See also Changing Android’s disk encryption password on Android Explorations. By the way, the other screen lock options besides PIN and Password are not available anymore.

And because I’m switching off my phone quite often and also want to use the alarm clock, the missing wake-up functionality as described by @carpe_diem80 was the last straw that made me going through the backup-and-phone-reset procedure (fortunately the FP was not yet fully set up after my first three weeks with it).

Let’s see, how the system encryption develops during the next updates. Until then, I can live without it.


I voted for the third option because I think that if someone really wants to enter my phone it can be done anyways. Besides there is no confidential information on it, so I did not bother to learn about encryption.


What if you schedule a power-on and put the alarm some minutes after, does it power on?

If I do so, the phone switches on but stops at the point where I have to enter the decrypting code without the alarm clock ringing…
Oh dear, does this mean, that I have to go back to default settings? I have a backup, but had I known what consequences the encryption brings, I would not have done it… For me it doesn’t make sense to keep my phone switched on forever, what do I need it for when I’m asleep?

What @kgha says:

Additionally, I wonder about people like @Stefan: Is your e-mail password not confidential? Don’t you use other services on your mobile as well which demand passwords or codes?

Fair enough, your device is encrypted when turned on. But if I lost my device, which e.g. would turn off at some point because the battery runs out, I’d feel a lot more comfortable knowing there is an additional layer of encryption.
Someone with access to my various e-mail accounts would be a major cause of sleepless nights, actually.

I do guess that really paranoid people wouldn’t use any mobile phone in the post Snowden age, and I know encryption is just another complication for the average user. But for me, the only drawback with it is that I can’t use the alarm clock.


@carpe_diem80 Sorry, i confirm that timed power on is not working with encryption. This is certainly not Fairphones fault, its cause lies deep in the Android internals.

@anon90052001 Maybe you should update the Fairphone documentation with a warning explaining the consequences of using encryption?


@humorkritik The worst which can happen is that someone uses my email account for spam mailing. I do not care too much for internet services (eg. My calendar can only be synced when in my home network.) I seldomly use Facebook through my Firefox browser and don’t save my password there.
Of course I don’t use online banking on my phone. So if someone steals my phone, no confidential information would get lost.
But maybe I am seeing this too naively and you can point out something I am missing.

i have just tried to crypt the phone too.
Same problem: both SIM card are simply ignored from the phone (no PIN required, SIM icon with red cross).
I did not have any external app installed on the phone before (only update to Cherry 1.6 was done).
I ran the encryption without SIM and SD card installed. And everything was working nicely before encryption for one month.

Otherwise no performance issue noticeable.
Encryption took about 30 min (or less)

The fact that the encryption password and the unlock screen password is really annoying and unsecure since you retype your password it very often.

Could explain how you did it ?
How to perform a “hard reset” on my Fairphone? ?


@fnx - that’s exactly what I did… however, I have since found that the problem reoccurs. I don’t reboot my phone often so I don’t find it too much of a problem, but to work around the SIM card issue I activate ‘airplane mode’ and then de-active it. It seems to kick the SIMs into action for me.

Try it and let me know if it works for you too

Same behaviour.
Activation and cancellation of airplane mode works to wake-up the SIMs and need to be done after each reboot.
System parameters > Wireless & Network > Plus (/More) > Airplane Mode [CheckBox]`

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@Ben: Ok, thanks anyway for finding this out!

thanks, that saved me a huge stress!

If there was a proper way of encrypting, that is, a good strong password for the encryption, and the pattern unlock available as screen lock, I would probably consider encrypting. But my fear is that in case the phone crashes during the night I might miss a call, and I use one of the sim slots for my work which is a 24 hour thing.

As a thing in the middle I use keepass2android where I store passwords, although some google account passwords are saved on the phone.

I use encryption on my Fairphone. I had my first Fairphone stolen a week after I had it, wasn’t encrypted, but luckely didn’t have too muc sensitive information on it yet. But since my phone now has an app from my bank, some Bitcoin apps and a whole lot of photos on it, not to mention WhatsApp chat logs and much more info I don’t want to risk anyone getting their hands on it. People who say they don’t have any sensitive info on their smartphone either don’t realy use it or are unaware of what they actually have on it.

Since there isn’t a way to have a different encription password and unlock password and a) a short password for encryption defeats the whole idea of encripting it and b) a long password for unlocking is completely unpractical, I installed the [Cryptfs Password app][1] that lets you choose a diferent password for encrypting and for unlock screen. I have a PIN for my lock screen and a very long pasword for my phone encription that I only need to give in after I’ve switch my phone off.

I would really urge everyone to at least consider encripting their phone.
[1]: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.nick.cryptfs.passwdmanager