Do I have to lock the bootloader after /e/ is installed on my FP3?

I’m about to install /e/ on my new fairphone 3. It is almost done. I’m just wondering if I have to lock the booltoader for safety when the installation is done?
Thank you!!

Regain your privacy! Adopt /e/ the unGoogled mobile OS and online servicesphone

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You can do it later.
If you want to use TWRP backup/restore feature,
If you want to install Magisk to get root privileges for certain apps, or hide the custom OS to certain apps (banks).

Locking the bootloader (as well as unlocking it) will force a factory reset, deleting all user data. So, doing it later might be a bit inconvenient depending on how much later.

As for safety …
The user data is encrypted by default. Once you set up a screen lock, this will serve as the necessary decryption method on the phone. Without knowing it, nobody will have access to your data when the screen is locked.
As far as I know, simple loss or theft of the phone with the screen locked will not expose your data, as only a factory reset via recovery mode would make the phone usable again, with your data then safely gone.
A remaining risk is somebody targeting you specifically. They could take your phone unnoticed by you, boot something custom to install some malware, return the phone still unnoticed by you, and then just wait for you to unlock it to either grab your decryption method and/or do whatever with your data afterwards. You have to assess that risk for yourself depending on your circumstances.

I’m running my phone with an unlocked bootloader to be able to use TWRP for backups … Backups, bootloader, root - #5 by AnotherElk.


Would someone be able to install malware on a phone with an unlocked bootloader if said phone was encrypted?

I’ve been reading articles stating that people have been able to crack encryption by freezing phones for a certain amount of time.

I have been thinking about re-locking my bootloader. I understand all my current data would be lost, but would I be able to boot back into /e/? Or would the saved factory OS backed up on TWRP boot?

Only the data partition gets encrypted (mainly user data and Apps installed by the user and their data).
Somebody with physical access to your phone with an unlocked bootloader can boot and install whatever.

A factory reset doesn’t touch the installed OS, at least not in the Android world.

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Right. But couldn’t someone with physical access to a phone just unlock the bootloader (assuming it’s locked) and install whatever just the same? It wasn’t hard for me to unlock it, and I just followed guides on the internet.

Unlocking the bootloader forces a factory reset, and then the user data is gone. What harm does installing whatever do then afterwards, or what’s to gain with it?

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