By Dan Gookin

When the information on your Android tablet must be really, really secure, you can take the drastic step of encrypting the internal and external storage. For most Android tablet users, this step is a bit much. However, if you’re using your tablet to store the Colonel’s secret recipe, you might want to consider it.

First, apply a secure screen lock, such as the PIN or password.

Second, ensure that the tablet is either plugged in or fully charged. Encryption takes a while, and you don’t want your gizmo pooping out before the process is complete.

Third, follow these steps to encrypt your tablet’s internal storage:

  1. Open the Settings app and choose Security.

    On some Samsung tablets, choose Lock Screen and Security. This item might be located on the Settings app’s General tab.

  2. Choose the item Encrypt Tablet, Encrypt Device, or Encrypt SD Card.

    If you haven’t followed the advice here, you’ll need to charge the tablet or set a password or both.

  3. Tap the ENCRYPT button to proceed.
  4. Wait.

Once encrypted, only by unlocking the tablet will anyone be able to access its storage.