Digital Crave

Free app hides your private photos, videos and notes

Your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch is ideal for storing and displaying your favorite photos and videos -- but what if some are more private than others?

If that's the case, you probably don't carry around these kinds of images and risk them being viewed by over-the-shoulder snoops -- or by your kids who like to play games on your device.

But a growing category of apps serves as a digital locker to your media, so you can carry around images and videos you deem "private." Ahem. We'll just leave it at that.

And so I decided to give a free option a spin, called Best Secret Folder. The first thing you'll notice after downloading the app is the icon is not labeled "Best Secret Folder." Instead, it says "My Utilities" and shows a picture of a folder with many different apps in it (as if you grouped them together yourself).

The second layer of protection is a password you need to set up to access your locked photos and videos -- plus the app now supports notes, too. You can go with a numeric personal identification number or a pattern to draw in order to open up the app (such as the letter "Z" or "N"). You can also choose to repeat the password or pattern before gaining access to the files.

Third, you can opt for a "dummy screen" that makes it look like your folder is empty when you launch the app. To access your real photo and video library, you'd tap the small "Information" icon in the lower left of the screen.

And there are even more options to further safeguard your private media, including setting up an alarm to catch nosy friends, snapping a photo of those trying to break into the app (with date, time and location stamp) and seeing the number of break-in attempts displayed on the icon itself (such as a red number 2 in the corner).

Once you're in the app, there are a few areas to access: Photos, Videos and Notes. You can tap to add a new folder per area and store as many files as you like in each one. Adding content to a folder is as easy as selecting it from your library or taking a photo or video with the camera at that time. (If it's private, you'd want to then delete the media from your iPad library once it's secured in this app.)

You can also move, rename or delete photos and videos or export them to your library or via e-mail address.

Best Secret Folder is a powerful and free way to protect your private photos, videos and notes. It's easy to use, offers a number of optional levels of security and cleverly blends in with your existing apps.

Yahoo! readers, are there any iOS apps you'd strongly recommend? Why?

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