Most smartphone users have a number of photos and videos on their devices that are proper for only a few pair of eyes, usually not more than two.
As the cameras on handsets become better and sharper, it is hard for some to resist the temptation to catch a few naked selfies now and then, as prominent celebrities showed more than once. The good news is that a number of developers cater to the exhibitionist needs of smartphone users and reinforce an increased privacy on designated photo or video folders.
We compiled a list of the best apps for Android and iOS to keep your image files secret.
Vaulty allows you to simply select images and videos from your phone and add them to a secure vault. To access the private gallery, you need to type a password or a PIN security number. A big plus for the app is that it blocks access to your files via file managers. Another advantage is that you may do a lot inside the app, such as view, zoom, share, search, rename and filter images from the app, and all of the actions apply to videos, as well.
Normally, Vaulty is free but its simple presence on the device hints at dirty secrets available on your handset. For those who want to take discretion to the next level, a $4.99 donation will get you Vaulty Stocks, which hides a simple Vaulty in a fake stocks lookup app.
Vaulty has a 4.6/5 rating on Google Play Store.
Gallery Lock (Android)
Gallery Lock has an extra feature most similar apps do not: it allows you to use "Stealth Mode," so that it does not appear on your handset. Users who use the feature have to type in an asterisk, the password and "Call." Another neat security trick that Gallery Lock Lite shares with other apps is the intruder mug shot. This means that anyone who inputs three-failed passwords into your device gets an automated selfie, so you know who snoops around your device.
It should be noted that the cost free Gallery Lock allows the hiding of a small number of photos. It also prompts ads from time to time. If you want zero ads on your Gallery Lock Lite, $4.25 at the Google Play store takes care of that.
Gallery Lock has a 4.4/5 rating on Google Play Store.
If you fancy PIN-protection, another option is KeepSafe, an app that allows you to rotate, zoom and even create slideshows. It is also quite intuitive to use, as you simply click share on your private files and select the KeepSafe app. The fact that there is no encryption means that there are better options out there, but KeepSafe makes up for it thanks to cool features other apps lack.
For example, there is a decoy-gallery that you may open by using a fake PIN. This allows you to hide your actual compromising photos, if need be to open the vault. Also, there is a Safe Send feature, basically allowing you to send photos for a short amount of time. This could prove to be a double-edged sword, so be careful how you wield it.
KeepSafe has a 4.6/5 rating on Google Play Store and 4.5/5 on iTunes.
Private Photo Vault (iOS)
The free iOS app has a number of advantages for the everyday user. It features an advanced Photo Management system, which allows users to import and export photos, and can even sync with iTunes. The app also permits you to browse the Internet privately. The locking mechanism relies on a numeric PIN or a screen pattern, protecting your videos and photos alike.
For users who are fearful of nosy friends or spouses, Private Photo Vault sends you a break-in report with a photo and GPS location of the perpetrator. You also have a decoy password to lead away the curious people.
Private Photo Vault has a rating of 4.5/5 on iTunes.