In a previous article, we have explored some of the best iOS file management apps available on the App Store. These apps usually store user files, as is, within the app sandbox, leveraging the core security features that the iOS platform is built upon. And, as long as you’re using a non-jailbroken iPhone or iPad with the latest software update, they are in fact, quite secure. But the situation changes if you’re running a compromised version of iOS on your iPhone or iPad.
As such, if you’re really serious about your privacy, you might prefer to use apps that encrypt files within the app sandbox, using standard encryption algorithms, on top of iOS’ built-in security.
In this article, we’ll explore a few apps that encrypt your files within the app sandbox, and thus, tend to protect your data in situations where the device security has been compromised.
Securepad – Encrypted Private Photo Video Vault
Securepad is a secure, feature-rich encrypted vault app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. It allows you to store Photos, Videos, GIF and PDF files, along with notes & personal data, such as account passwords, bank information, credit card details, etc.
Every data stored within the app are encrypted with military grade AES-256 bit encryption. Access to the app is protected with passcode and Touch ID. It supports both simple & complex passwords, and even lets you set up the app to monitor break-in attempts by snapping a photo of the intruder each time a wrong passcode is entered.
Within the vault, you can organize your personal data into folders and view supported files directly within the app. Files can be imported into Securepad using the Share menu or iTunes File Sharing. You can even use the built in Camera app to shoot and store photos and videos directly within the encrypted storage.
A point worth noting here is that the iTunes File Sharing option for Securepad is fairly one-way. Files transferred into its Documents through iTunes, get automatically encrypted within the app. And once encrypted, they are no longer available in the Documents section in iTunes File Sharing.
Securepad also offers encrypted backups on iCloud. That way, you can still recover data from the cloud if your iDevice gets stolen. At the same time, your data is safe on iCloud, as it is encrypted with your private key.
Securepad offers unlimited encrypted storage and all features are available for free. And though the app is ad-supported, it should not hamper the experience much, as the ads usually don’t interfere between user interactions. Still, if you want to remove the ads, you can do so by upgrading to the Pro version via in-app purchase.
Secure Filebox – Encrypted File Manager
Secure Filebox is yet another app which provides standard encryption techniques, such as AES-256 and RSA, to encrypt the data stored within it. Not just encrypted storage, you also get a photo editor with filters, a universal file viewer, an encrypted messaging & file sharing platform, and more.
The app supports simple and complex passcode, along with Touch ID protection, to restrict access to unauthorized users. Inside, you can store and organize just about any data. The built-in scanner, camera and voice recorder allows you to create secret media content right from within the app. You can import files from other apps as well.
The built-in encrypted file sharing and messaging client enables you to communicate with other Filebox users, using their unique Filebox ID. This encrypted messaging platform implements public key cryptography to keep communications secure.
Filebox is a zero knowledge software, and all data is encrypted within the app using your app passcode. The passcode is never stored anywhere and is known only to you, thus making you the sole person to be able to decrypt your Filebox. Being zero knowledge, the app can’t offer any passcode recovery option.
The app is almost a complete secure file management solution for your iOS device, but the app has not seen updates over a long time. The user interface too, feels a bit old fashioned, and misses some of the elements of a modern iOS design.
Note: During our tests, we also found a bug in the app’s Touch ID implementation, where it skips asking for the passcode, if Touch ID gets disabled due to repeated failed authentication attempts. One way to get around this issue, is to disable Touch ID on Filebox, and keep only the passcode.
Apart from that, Secure Filebox is a solid app for securing any type of data on your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The app is available in both free and paid options on the App Store. The free version is full-featured app without any limitations. Its only difference with the paid version being the fact that it is ad-supported, while the paid version is not.
Both Securepad and Filebox are decent options for securing your private data, and it really comes down to personal preference to choose between the two of them. Securepad brings a modern look and feel to the UI, and is more convenient if you fancy using Touch ID for accessing apps. On the other hand, Filebox is much lightweight, and supports more content types as well.
If you know of any other security apps that you feel should be included in this list, let us know in the comments below.