Cell Phone Encryption: A Look at the Pros and Cons

With the recent news coverage and debate that’s been taking place between the FBI and Apple,
the topic of cell phone encryption is more common and talked about than ever before. Many
individuals and companies alike are spending time thinking about whether or not it is a good
idea to encrypt cell phones. Do the pros of encryption outweigh the potential cons, or vice
versa? Sure, the information is protected in a more substantial way than ever before, but what
about the risk that exists when an employee refuses to hand over the encryption password to
their employer regarding a company cell phone?

With the ever rising discussion about this topic, we thought we would put in our two cents as
well by outlining the pros and cons of cell phone and mobile device encryption.
One of the most obvious benefits of mobile device encryption is the extent to which potentially
sensitive information is protected. If the encrypted device falls into the wrong hands, the owner
of the device can be sure that the data will not be used for unwanted purposes. The owner of
that particular mobile device can be assured that the thief will be unable to access important or
personal information on the phone. This becomes especially important if the device is used for
sensitive work related purposes.

Having said that, choosing to use encryption could cause a problem for the company later down
the line. If an employer grants a work-purpose mobile device to an employee, it is important that
the employer be confident in the ethical standards of the employee. It is too often the case that
a work related mobile device is taken advantage of and, with encryption in place, the employer
can do absolutely nothing about it.

In addition to these considerations, individuals thinking about whether or not to encrypt their
devices should also keep in mind that the encryption itself is a time-consuming process that can
affect the performance of the device. Users can expect to notice a slower-running system
because of the resources required for encryption.

Lastly, if you are thinking about whether or not encryption is right for you, it is best to be
completely certain in your decision. Mobile device encryption is a one way process that cannot
easily be undone with current technology. However, for the right circumstances, this process is
one that can be highly beneficial in protecting valuable data.