How to Encrypt Shared Preferences in Android apps
Learn to Encrypt In-App Preferences in Android apps, in mobile CI/CD with a Data-Driven DevSecOps™ build system.
What Are Shared Preferences in Android Apps?
In Android app development, Shared Preferences are used to keep track of commonly accessed user and application preferences in Android apps. Preferences are used mainly to create a sense of persistence and personalization for mobile users to improve the user experience. Shared Preferences are stored as plain-text XML key/value pairs inside Android apps and can be retrieved by other apps and systems.
Why Encrypt Shared Preferences?
Preferences can be any text-based data, which may include information about users that is highly personal, private or sensitive. For example – preferences can be used to display a screen that contains personally identifiable information, which is saved when the application closes and brought back when the app opens again.
The use of app preferences is very broad and flexible, and there’s no restriction on the type of information that can be stored in preferences and retrieved by other resources. Furthermore, Shared Preferences are stored as plain-text data (unencrypted) by default, which makes them a valuable area for hackers to target with ease. Appdome’s Encrypt Shared Preferences in Android apps ensures attackers cannot easily access this data.
Prerequisites for Using Encrypt In-App Preferences:
To use Appdome’s mobile app security build system to Encrypt In-App Preferences , you’ll need:
- Appdome account (create a free Appdome account here)
- A license for Encrypt In-App Preferences
- Mobile App (.apk or .aab for Android)
- Signing Credentials (see Signing Secure Android apps and Signing Secure iOS apps)
Encrypt In-App Preferences on Android apps using Appdome
On Appdome, follow these 3 simple steps to create self-defending Android Apps that Encrypt In-App Preferences without an SDK or gateway:
Upload the Mobile App to Appdome.
Upload an app to Appdome’s Mobile App Security Build System
Upload Method: Appdome Console or DEV-API
Android Formats: .apk or .aab
Encrypt In-App Preferences Compatible With: Java, JS, C++, C#, Kotlin, Flutter, React Native, Unity, Xamarin, Cordova and other Android apps
Build the feature: Encrypt In-App Preferences.
Congratulations! The Encrypt In-App Preferences protection is now added to the mobile app
Building Encrypt In-App Preferences by using Appdome’s DEV-API:
Create and name the Fusion Set (security template) that will contain the Encrypt In-App Preferences feature as shown below:
Follow the steps in Sections 2.2.1-2.2.2 of this article, Building the Encrypt In-App Preferences feature via Appdome Console, to add the Encrypt In-App Preferences feature to this Fusion Set.
Open the Fusion Set Detail Summary by clicking the “...” symbol on the far-right corner of the Fusion Set, as shown in Figure 1 above, and get the Fusion Set ID from the Fusion Set Detail Summary (as shown below):
Figure 2: Fusion Set Detail Summary
Note: Annotating the Fusion Set to identify the protection(s) selected is optional only (not mandatory).
Follow the instructions below to use the Fusion Set ID inside any standard mobile DevOps or CI/CD toolkit like Bitrise, App Center, Jenkins, Travis, Team City, Cirlce CI or other system:
Figure 1: Fusion Set that will contain the Encrypt In-App Preferences feature
Note: Naming the Fusion Set to correspond to the protection(s) selected is for illustration purposes only (not required).
Building the Encrypt In-App Preferences feature via Appdome Console
To build the Encrypt In-App Preferences protection by using Appdome Console, follow the instructions below.
Where: Inside the Appdome Console, go to Build > Security Tab > TOTALData™ Encryption section.
When you select the Encrypt In-App Preferences you'll notice that your Fusion Set you created in step 2.1.1 now bears the icon of the protection category that contains Encrypt In-App Preferences
Figure 4: Fusion Set that displays the newly added Encrypt In-App Preferences protection
Click Build My App at the bottom of the Build Workflow (shown in Figure 3).
Certify the Encrypt In-App Preferences feature in Android Apps.
After building Encrypt In-App Preferences, Appdome generates a Certified Secure™ certificate to guarantee that the Encrypt In-App Preferences protection has been added and is protecting the app. To verify that the Encrypt In-App Preferences protection has been added to the mobile app, locate the protection in the Certified Secure™ certificate as shown below:
Figure 5: Certified Secure™ certificate
Each Certified Secure™ certificate provides DevOps and DevSecOps organizations the entire workflow summary, audit trail of each build, and proof of protection that Encrypt In-App Preferences has been added to each Android app. Certified Secure provides instant and in-line DevSecOps compliance certification that Encrypt In-App Preferences and other mobile app security features are in each build of the mobile app
Using Appdome, there are no development or coding prerequisites to build secured Android Apps by using Encrypt In-App Preferences. There is no SDK and no library to code or implement in the app and no gateway to deploy in your network. All protections are built into each app and the resulting app is self-defending and self-protecting.
Releasing and Publishing Mobile Apps with Encrypt In-App Preferences
After successfully securing your app by using Appdome, there are several available options to complete your project, depending on your app lifecycle or workflow. These include:
- Customizing, Configuring & Branding Secure Mobile Apps
- Deploying/Publishing Secure mobile apps to Public or Private app stores
- Releasing Secured Android & iOS Apps built on Appdome.
If you have any questions, please send them our way at support.appdome.com or via the chat window on the Appdome platform.
Thanks for visiting Appdome! Our mission is to secure every app on the planet by making mobile app security easy. We hope we’re living up to the mission with your project.