Consider the following scenario: you are sitting on your lunch break at work and talking to one of your coworkers. You decide you want to show her a picture you took a while back of some gaming equipment you saw at the store. This picture was from a few months ago so, in order to get to it, you must scroll through hundreds of other pictures. You begin to do so, and, before you know it, she is looking at a picture of you with no shirt on that you took for your exercise bet. There is nothing-questionable going on in this picture, but it definitely was not meant for your coworker to view. Now she continues to tease you every time she sees you.
The above scenario shows that not everything on your phone is meant to be viewed by everyone in your life. There are other times when private pictures and videos can leak out as well. What is even worse is times when you have no control at all over what is being seen. Your friend may have stolen your phone or you may have accidentally left it in a public bathroom or something only to find out upon return that your files have been viewed. This can lead to devastating consequences, not the least of which is personal humiliation.
Do not fret, though. You can find many apps for Android users in the Google Play store that will help you hide sensitive information. This article will give you a list of apps that can help you out either for free or at the cost of a small fee.
KeepSafe Vault is a great app for protecting your private photos and videos. It is extremely easy to use because you can add photos to it directly from your phone gallery. You also select a personal identification number (PIN) in order to keep anyone from accessing your files in the app. And, if you are using the basic version, this app will not show up in your app list.
If you would like to access more advanced features, you will have to pay a fee to upgrade the app. Some of the more advanced features include adding a fake pin and having KeepSafe show up in your app list as a completely different app. Also, with the advanced app, you can send photos that will self-destruct after 20 seconds. And, in case anyone attempts to hijack your vault, the app will capture a picture of the fake PIN and send it to you.
Key Features: Easy-to-use, allows you to send self-destruct images, advanced version app will let you know if someone tries to access your information
Pricing: Basic version is free. Advanced version requires a fee.
Downfall: The advanced version requires a fee (of which it does not tell you until you attempt to upgrade).
Google Play Rating: 4.6/5
Hide It Pro
Hide It Pro is another app that will definitely help with hiding things on your phone. With this app, you can hide more than just photos and videos. You can also hide other apps, text messages, and phone calls. In order to ensure privacy and keep files secure, the app is simply automatically named “Audio Manager” and can be used to adjust audio with the app. It also will not show up in your apps list and will allow you to use both a PIN and a password to secure your files.
Hide It Pro is easy to use with unique customization options and navigation tools including categorizing particular data and viewing slideshows and videos.
All of your information is encrypted with AES 256 encryption to ensure security, and the app also allows plugins support.
Key Features: Encrypted data, plugin support, and ability to hide various types of files
Downfall: Some users have said that the app causes them to lose files forever. This phenomenon appears to be rare.
Google Play Rating: 4.4/5
Safe Gallery Free (Media Lock)
Safe Gallery Free will password-protect all of your files in your photo gallery with 3 different kinds of locks: PIN, password, and pattern. And, unlike other apps previously mentioned, this app will allow for you to restore data in the event that something is lost.
Another feature of Safe Gallery Free is that it can hide any images that you download off the Internet. These images are automatically categorized separately from images in your gallery so you can know which photos are yours and that are from the web.
Like other apps, you can hide this one. However, instead of hiding it under another name, it will be completely invisible on your phone. If you want to recover it, you just have to type in a PIN.
Key Features: Different locking processes, backs up data, locks images downloaded from the Internet.
Downfall: Some users have complained about not being able to access the app after it was hidden. They have stated that the PIN does not work.
Google Play Rating: 4.3/5
Fotox is a trustworthy app that offers four kinds of locking systems: PIN, password, pattern and face detection. You can easily take pictures and videos directly from the app or you can add them from your photo gallery.
This app offers great features such as being able to store all of your photos in the Cloud and to transfer files to different devices. And, just like other apps, you can make this one hidden on your phone. It also allows for the uninstall feature to be disabled so that only the user can uninstall the app.
Other important security features are that it records and stores any attempts to
break-in and has a fake crash dialog box wherein the app mimics crashing.
Key Features: up to 4 locking systems, Cloud backup, hidden on your phone, records and stores break-in attempts, fake crash dialog box
Downfall: A number of users have complained they cannot find the app once it is hidden. They have also complained that pictures have been lost despite the Cloud backup feature.
Google Play Rating: 4.3/5
Gallery Lock is a simple app with all the major features in one package. This app offers all of the basic features such as a hidden app icon, password protection for any photos or videos, and easy access to all of your files within the app.
It is also very easy to add files to Gallery Lock, and the app offers Cloud backup to Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box.
It also has added security in that the built-in camera will take a photo of anyone who has three failed attempts to access the app.
Key Features: hidden app icon, password protection, easy access to files, Cloud backup, automatic photo after third failed attempt to access
Downfall: Users have complained that the password to open the app does not always work.
Google Play Rating: 4.4/5
Vaulty has been around for over four years, and that makes it one of the oldest apps for hiding photos and videos. It has also been proven to be one of the more reliable ones. It is user-friendly and offers password protection for all photos and videos.
The app also features automatic online backup and the ability to organize your files in such a manner that it confuses your friends into viewing a safe vault. And, if someone tries to enter your Vaulty vault and enters the wrong password, a picture is automatically taken of them and stored within the app.
Key Features: takes pictures after attempts to break-in, provides online backup, password protection
Pricing: Free but offers in app purchases
Downfall: A number of users have complained that they have lost data even though the app offers automatic online backup.
Google Play Rating: 4.6/5
Vault is another app that offers all the basic features. However, it not only protects photos and videos, it also protects calls, text messages, and apps. And it has the added benefit of automatically clearing web-browsing history.
The app offers Cloud backup, hidden icon, and the ability to create decoy vaults in order to conceal the real one. And, just like other apps, it will secretly secure a picture of anyone who enters a wrong password.
Key Features: Hides different types of data, creates fake vaults, takes pictures of anyone attempting to break-in vault, offers Cloud backup.
Pricing: Free but with in-app purchases
Downfall: Most recent update has caused problems with app lock feature.
Google Play Rating: 4.4/5
Private Photo Vault
Private Photo Vault is an app that has two layers of password protection. There is one password for the app and another password to access your photos.
The app offers another interesting feature and that is you can send any of your locked photos to anyone via text message or email. All you have to do is access them through the app itself.
Private Photo Vault will take a photo and record GPS coordinates anytime someone unauthorized attempts to break into your vault. Also, if one of your friends is playing around on your phone and asks to enter Private Photo Vault, you can give him a fake password that will take him to a fake vault comprised of only safe photos.
Key Features: Double protection with two passwords, send photos via text or email directly through the app, fake password to enter a fake vault, break-in attempts recorded via photo and GPS coordinates
Pricing: Free limited features and Advanced for $3.99
Downfall: Many users are saying they cannot access their photos with this app.
Google Play Rating: 4.1/5
Photo Locker is another good app for hiding your photos and videos. One of the nice things about this app is that it does not upload any data to the app servers. This allows for much better security. Also, all the data is encrypted using 128-bit AES encryption. In other words, if someone were to gain access to your SD card, they would still have no way of accessing your data.
Photos can easily be added to the app via your gallery or from within the app itself. It also has the added feature of auto lock on sleep. This is very important in the event that you forget to close out of the app.
Photo Locker offers easy password recovery via email and the ability to unhide photos just as easily as you hide them.
The app is also tablet-optimized and allows for a decent viewing experience on both Android smartphones and tablets.
The app itself is hidden on your phone, and it has the added feature of an ad-free viewing experience.
Key Features: Encrypts all photos using 128 bit AES encryption, auto lock on sleep, easy password recovery, hidden app icon, ad-free viewing experience
Pricing: Limited free version and Advanced for $4.99
Downfall: A few users have complained that all of their photos and videos are lost after the most recent update.
Google Play Rating: 4.2/5
As you have read this article, you have probably thought about times in your life when you wish you had one of these apps installed. Hopefully this article has given you some valuable information on making an informed choice about which app to try. However, since you are dealing with personal photos and videos, it is very important that you do a little of your own research to determine which app is right for you.