We’ve featured many apps for hiding, protecting, and encrypting data on Android. But it’s different when it comes to the iPhone. iOS doesn’t allow users access to the file system. This means apps can’t modify the files to hide or encrypt them.
On the flip side, iOS has app specific storage. That means files stored in one app can’t be accessed by another app until you share them (and before iOS 8, even sharing files between apps was an issue).
Using this locked down app storage feature, we can create a password protected vault of photos and files. You’ll have to delete the files transferred to this app from the local storage though.
What do you have to hide? I’m sure you can find legitimate documents that you don’t want to share with anyone who might get access to your phone. This also might be a good way to protect your personal selfies from leaking all over the internet (if you’re popular that is… someone mail this article to Jennifer Lawrence).
Password Protecting iVault
Download and launch iVault. It’s a free app but you’ll need to pay $2.99 to remove banner and popup ads. Launch the app and assign a password.
Make this something you’ll remember. Because if you forget this, you’ll have to say goodbye to your files.
Adding Folder And Importing Photos And Files
iVault allows you to create folders. You can password protect or hide folders but the experience on my end was buggy. So I’d suggest you to stay away from this feature.
Create a folder and tap the + button on the bottom right corner to add photos/files to the vault.
You can directly import multiple photos from the Photos app or take a new picture. There’s an option to import via Bluetooth as well.
Pro tip: If you’re not quite ready to use iVault to hide everything, the best thing you can do to keep your personal data from being stolen is enable 2-factor authentication in iCloud. Ars Technica concluded that 2-factor authentication does stop hacking software from stealing your iCloud backups.
Wirelessly Adding Files From PC
The app has an Add files from Computer feature. This feature only works when both the phone and the computer are on the same Wi-Fi network. Open a modern browser on your computer, put in the address the app tells you, choose the files you want and click Upload to sync them.
The great thing about using this feature is that the synced files live in the silo’d environment of iVault app. No other app has access to it. This is complete lockdown from the get go.
Delete Original Files From iPhone
If you’re importing photos or files from other apps on the iPhone, you’re merely creating a copy of it in the iVault app, not moving the original file. So make sure to go back and delete the original file.
Export Files From iVault To Restore Them
What if you no longer need a file to be private? Exporting a photo/video back to the default app is easy, just use the Share button. The same goes for exporting a document to another app.
Alternative: Dropbox For A Less Sophisticated Setup
You can achieve a similar setup if you store files in Dropbox. Here’s why and how.
- You can Favorite (star) files to save them for offline use (download to device memory).
- Dropbox has a built-in viewer for photos, videos and documents so you don’t need to send files to a different apps for preview.
- You can passcode protect the app.
The above three points mean that if you already use Dropbox, you can easily dedicate a folder for this secret file saving stuff.
What Do You Use To Hide Data On iOS Devices?
Don’t worry, we’re not going to ask you what you plan on hiding on your iOS device, just let us know your preferred method of doing so in the comments below.
Top image via Shutterstock
Last updated on 03 February, 2022
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