You’ve probably secured your iPhone or iPad with a passcode as well as Touch ID or Face ID. But you’re still concerned that the wrong people could gain access to your photos, videos, files, and other personal information. What can you do?
A host of Apple App Store apps can lock access to certain private data within a virtual vault—shielding your photos, videos, and other sensitive files with a password, PIN, or another security measure.
First, you’ll want to make sure you’re already protecting your iPhone or iPad with a passcode. Next, enable Touch ID or Face ID on your supported iOS device. All set? Great, those are your first lines of defense. Now, let’s check out some apps that can further guard your personal data.
Photo Vault is designed to protect your photos and videos. You first devise a numeric master password to protect your content before creating one or more albums to secure selected photos and videos. You then import individual items into that secure album from your device’s library, your camera, or your computer. You can download a photo online through a built-in browser, sort your imported photos and videos, search for specific ones by name, and view a slideshow.
You can also delete, move, and copy photos and videos in your secure vault, as well as view and access protected photos and videos from your computer via Wi-Fi or a USB connection. And you can back up your secure data to iCloud. Finally, you can further secure your content by choosing a folder password, a gesture password, and Touch ID or Face ID.
The basic app is free; an ad-free version with unlimited storage costs $2.99.
With Locker, you can secure photos, videos, notes, files and apps. You first create a PIN to secure your storage (though I was also able to use Face ID on my iPhone X). You can then add an existing photo or video from your library or snap and store a new one. Some devices also allow you to choose specific apps to hide so no one else can see them on the Home screen.
The non-premium flavor of Locker limits you to hiding or securing just three apps, three photos, and three videos. It also omits secure storage for notes and files as well as cloud storage. At $1.99 a month or $9.99 for lifetime use, the premium edition lets you hide an unlimited number of photos, videos, apps, notes, and files, and kicks in secure cloud storage.
Secret Photos KYMS
This app can hide and encrypt various data, including photos, videos, documents, contacts, tasks, and passwords. Using Secret Photos, you first create a PIN and then get prompted to devise an alphanumeric password for an extra level of security.
Once you’re in the app, you can choose which type of content to protect. You can add photos and videos from your library, camera, and iTunes. You can add passwords and sensitive information, browse the web securely, and replace the alphanumeric password with Touch ID or Face ID.
The free version offers secure storage for certain data such as photos, videos, and passwords. At $1.99, the paid edition lets you import existing contacts, create a private to-do list, securely store your credit card and other cards, record and encrypt audio recordings, and scan and secure any type of paper document.
Private Photo Vault
Private Photo Vault is another app designed to safeguard your photos and videos within a secure vault. Your first task is to create a passcode to protect your content. You’re then presented with a main album that you select to start importing your photos from your library or camera.
You can create additional albums for more photos and videos, browse photos on the web via a built-in browser, and then download them to one of your albums. At the Settings screen, you can change your passcode and opt to use Touch ID or Face ID instead of the code.
The basic version is free. For $4.99, the pro edition kicks in unlimited photo albums, removes all ads, throws in a pattern lock option, and lets you wirelessly transfer photos.
Secret Calculator is a $1.99 app that disguises itself as a working calculator. Hidden behind it are your secure albums and files. You first create a passcode, then enter it followed by the percent symbol each time you want to unlock the app. Touch ID is also an option for signing in.
The app offers predefined photo albums, though you can create your own albums as well, and all photos can be sorted by date. Simply select an album and then add the photos you want to protect. You can import photos from your library, your camera, clipboard, iTunes, and another device via Wi-Fi.
Best Secret Folder
Best Secret Folder offers a few twists on the traditional vault, at least if you opt for the paid version. As usual, you start by creating a passcode to protect your content. You’re then taken to an image of a vault where you can create albums to securely store your photos, videos, and notes. You can add photos and videos, either from your library or by snapping them with your camera, then copy, share, export, rename, delete, and move your content.
The free edition restricts you to 25 photos and 11 videos (though you can watch ads to bump up that limit) and excludes some of the app’s cooler features. For $14.99 per year (with a free 7-day trial), you can snag a premium edition, which grants you unlimited storage, removes all ads, supports Face ID, can display a dummy startup screen, and will snap a photo of someone who tries to access the app without the right passcode.
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