It’s more important than ever to protect the data on our devices. Our phones and tablets go everywhere with us, and contain data from every aspect of our lives.
Passcode and swipe patterns do a great job of locking our devices, and for many people this will be enough in terms of protection. But if your device is shared, or if you have some sensitive files or information on there, you may want to think about ways of adding more security to your mobile device.
LEO Privacy Guard from LEOMASTER is an app that offers these extra protections and promises to safeguard you from prying eyes, lock down your apps or media and make sure the contents and communications on your phone stay private.
LEO Privacy Guard is pretty packed full of features, the most simple and straightforward of which is its overall privacy checker. When you first open the app, it can give you a privacy score based on how easy to access your data is as well as how secure your network is. The app will then guide you through ways to improve this score using its other in-built features.
Key features include the ability to lock particular apps so that when opened, they require an extra swipe gesture or passcode to enter providing that additional layer of security; the ability to hide individual photos or videos from your gallery app so that they are only viewable through LEO Privacy Guard; and set certain contacts to private so that their communication appears only in the app, too. These features work as advertised and you are even able to create various profiles for different settings. I found it useful to have a set of Home settings, placing restrictions on work-centric apps and some games so that I felt comfortable handing the device to someone else. Equally, you could set a Work profile which locks down personal info or hides some private photos that can be activated while you’re in a work setting.
LEO Privacy Guard itself is secured by a swipe gesture meaning that no one else can access your privacy settings and remove restrictions.
Navigating around the app is easily done as it has a straightforward user interface that most Android users will be comfortable with. The app has been poorly translated into English at times, leading to a bit of confusion and diminishing the overall polish of the offering.
The most surprising, and probably my favorite, LEO Privacy Guard feature is the app’s ‘break-in’ alert. This feature takes a front facing photo any time someone tries to access a locked app or get into your Privacy Guard app and inputs the swipe gesture incorrectly. It works every time, and is a great way to see if a friend or family member has been trying to peek at your stuff. I also really like the ability to set ‘App Covers’ for locked applications. This means that rather than apps appearing outwardly as locked or secret, they can present themselves with a crash screen or a fun swipe to unlock page that only the user knows how to bypass and access the app — it’s less conspicuous than just requiring a passcode.
The abundance of features in the app — particularly those that are not purely security focused — is both a pro and a con. There’s a RAM booster, a mobile data monitor, a battery monitor and charging screen, as well as the ability to uninstall or backup your apps. Although optional, I feel like they mostly bloat the app and would personally prefer a dedicated app that solely looked after device security. The RAM booster itself clears the RAM, but like with most of these offerings, a number of the processes killed immediately start again. The battery screen is also not recommended as it displays an ad front and center on your lock screen while charging — not something I want to see.
Speaking of ads, they are present throughout the app and regularly clutter the UI. There is seemingly no way to remove these even through in-app purchase. In a similar vein, installing LEO Privacy Guard also places a shortcut for a service called App Joy on your home screen — this contains what is essentially a list of sponsored apps.
LEO Privacy Guard is certainly worth checking out if you’re after an extra layer of security for your apps or media. It’s capable of locking down apps, contacts, photos and the ability to capture a photo of those trying to pry on your private info is neat. There are issues with UI as well as additional and perhaps unnecessary features, but the app could be useful for those searching for a little extra privacy on their Android device.