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So, there’s been much uproar about kids using “secret” apps, despite how useful they can be. That’s because these apps protect your files from prying eyes – files that might include anything from notes to photos to sexts to raunchy pixxx.

It’s the latter that has some a little paranoid/worried/panicked. (No, not my little Ernest-Pierre, or Cadence-Marmalade!) But, truly, these apps have more than one use, and its other uses are not so salacious. Frankly, they’re not just for kids, either. Any living person can find one of these apps useful. Here’s how:

How do they work?

Some of these apps create dummy icons on your phone’s homepage (a calculator icon, for example), while others simply password protect folders. The idea is that with one of these, you’ll live a relatively worry-free life, where people don’t accidentally swipe too far through your camera roll, or click one too many files.

Don’t want to be caught up in insider trading? Throw your trading documents in a secret folder. Did you take a saucy boudoir-style photo for your husband on your phone? Throw it in a folder. Workplace recordings and files for next week’s meeting taking up space on the ol’ smartphone? Again, throw it behind a password.

Where do I find them?

It’s a secret. No, not really. Here are five apps that will suit many different needs:

1. Best Secret Folder, free (available at the iTunes app store).

This app is for anyone who wants to be discrete. Instead of just being an app that everyone can see, Best Secret Folder creates a “My Utilities” icon on your home screen that’s password protected. Additionally, it has a security component that will take a photo of anyone trying to access your private stuff (without your permission or password).

bestsecretfolder

This is what the “My Utilities” folder looks like. Pretty generic, right?

my-util

2. KYMS, free (available at the iTunes app store)

This app is pretty cool. When you download it, it creates a calculator icon on your home screen. All you have to do is enter your PIN number into the “calculator,” followed by the equals sign. That will unlock your private photos, PDFs, Word documents and more.

kyms

3. KeepSafe, free (available at the iTunes app store and Google Play)

Here’s a pretty simplified app for anyone who doesn’t need bells or whistles, and is mostly using it to hide photos. It’s an app that doesn’t hide behind a dummy icon – simply put in your PIN and import the photos you want into your folders. The app won’t auto-delete the photos you import, so you will need to remember to do that.

keep=safe

4. Vaulty, free (available at Google Play)

This is more than just password-protected photos. It has a security feature, whereby anyone puts in the wrong passwords has their “mugshot” taken. It’s also like Instagram, because you can edit and filter your files in the app itself.

collage-vaulty

5. Private Photo Vault, free (available at the iTunes app store)

This app easily imports photos into folders, which are then kept safely behind pin numbers. Like a lot of these apps, it also comes with hack-deterring software that will take a photo of anyone who is trying to get in with the wrong password. It’ll also tell you their location, using GPS.

privatephotovault-(1)

And there you have it. While, yes, it’s true, some people will probably use these apps for sex-related photos, other files do exist on your phone that aren’t sexy at all. And those non-sexy files need some security as well. The more you know, as they say.

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