We carry a lot of private data on our phones, and we take them everywhere we go. Whether it is private work files, personal photos, or particular conversations, it’s understandable to want to protect the information contained in our portable devices.
For many people, the passcode lock is enough protection, but in situations where the device may be shared, if the phone is accessed by an intruder, or if you just have some sensitive information on the device, it can be worth implementing an extra layer of security.
LEO Privacy Guard from LEOMASTER is an app that promises to safeguard you from prying eyes, lock down apps or media on your phone and make sure the contents and communications on your phone stay private.
In terms of features, LEO Privacy Guard is pretty packed. First up, you’ll notice the app gives you an overall privacy score for your device 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.
Headline features include the ability to lock particular apps so that when opened, they require a swipe gesture to enter adding that extra layer of security; the ability to hide individual photos or videos from your gallery 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 well and you can create various profiles for different settings — you can have a set of Home rules, placing restrictions on apps for work or games so you can hand your device to your kids or set a Work setting which locks down personal info or hides some private photos. The best part is these can be location or time based, meaning you don't have to select different modes manually.
Navigating the app is easily done as it has a straightforward user interface but the English in the app is a little broken at times, leading to some confusion, and diminishing the overall polish of the offering.
My favorite feature is LEO Privacy Guard’s ‘break-in’ alert. This feature allows you to take a front facing photo any time someone tries to access a locked app or your Privacy Guard app and inputs the swipe gesture incorrectly. This works every time, and is a great way to see if a friend or family member has been trying to peek at your stuff. Secondly, I really like that you can set ‘App Covers’ for locked applications. This means that rather than apps appearing obviously as locked, 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 — this is less conspicuous as just requiring an additional passcode.
LEO Privacy Guard itself is secured by a swipe gesture meaning that no one else can access your privacy settings and remove restrictions.
One aspect of LEO Privacy Guard that is both a pro and a con is the abundance of other features in the app that are not purely security focused. There’s a RAM booster, a mobile data monitor, a battery and charging screen, and the ability to uninstall or backup your apps. Although optional, I feel like they bloat the app to me and would personally prefer a more focused offering that was just dedicated to security. The RAM booster itself clears the RAM, but a number of processes start again and the battery screen is not recommended as it displays an ad front and center on your lock screen while charging.
Speaking of ads, they are present throughout the app and often clutter the interface and there is seemingly no way to remove these even through in-app purchase. 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. This shortcut can be removed, but it's not ideal that it is placed there in the first place.
If you’re after an extra layer of security for your apps or media, LEO Privacy Guard is certainly worth checking out. The ability to lock down apps, contacts, photos and more is useful and the ability to capture a photo of those trying to pry is neat. The app has its issues in UI as well as additional and perhaps unnecessary features, but could be useful for those searching for a little extra privacy on their Android device.
Check out LEO Privacy Guard on Google Play where it is available to download for free.