By contrast, if "built-in" encryption methods mean properly configuring automatic encryption that comes included with the mobile device itself, it will tend to minimise human error in most cases. However, it should be noted that there are few true "built-in" encryption products: really only Microsoft BitLocker on newer Windows-based computers and some self-encrypting hard drives and USB sticks. Yet implementing full disk encryption with boot-time authentication on a laptop, for example, will offer good security with minimal user intervention. Hard disks and USB drives with built-in encryption also combine security with ease of use, which is a winning combination.
It's not about the quality of the encryption algorithm (assuming you are using a well-proven product) but about user education and authentication. Good quality passphrases (or two-factor authentication) coupled with a proven encryption product will offer the best possible data protection outcome.
This was first published in May 2010