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I need to leave my phone at a repair shop. The reparation is not trivial, so I can't expect them to do it under my eyes while I wait.

But my phone is all my life. Like for most of us (I guess), I have personnal information, pictures, conversations that I would not like being seen by a stranger. Considering they don't need to unlock it to repair it, how can I make sure they don't access sensitive data, without wiping clear my device (which would be a pain to restore)?

The only things I thought about:

  • removing SD card
  • setting a (strong) PIN code
  • encrypt the internal memory

My phone is a Samsung A5 2017. I'm not even sure I can fully encrypt the internal memory - a quick search seems to indicate that I can't -, so I'm quite at a loss.

  • What version of Android? Also, you say it would be a pain to restore it. I'm an iOS user and backups + restore is extremely easy. Do you keep regular backups? If not, you should definitely come up with a solution for that as well as you don't want to lose this data in an accident. – d1str0 Apr 8 at 16:35
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Back it up and do a factory reset.

You should have a trustworthy backup in case your phone is lost anyway. Consider this as the same scenario as a loss, only cheaper and safer.

Your only other option is to accept the risk of the repair provider looking at your data.

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    While I agree this is an option and an important thing to be able to do if needed, the question specifically asks for options other than this. – d1str0 Apr 8 at 16:41
  • If your phone does not allow full encryption, backup and factory reset is the only safe option. – ThoriumBR Apr 8 at 18:18
  • @d1str0 , good point. I clarified his other option. – John Deters Apr 8 at 18:41

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