Monday, June 2, 2014

Screen Lock and App Lock: What They Can Do For You

After finding my phone on more than one occasion with pictures in it I didn’t take, posts on my Facebook wall, and notes in my contacts…I put a screen lock on my phone.  A screen lock secures my device so that a password, pin, or pattern of my choosing needs to be entered before the device can be used.  This is great to keep people from using one of my devices and accessing my entire phone while it’s lying around the house or if I lose it.  However, if I decide to let someone use my phone and enter my pin, while they have it they have access to everything:  email, facebook, messages, settings etc.

So, to keep my personal information personal and my ringtone set to the one I like (and not what one of my children think is cute), I installed an app lock on my phone. There are several to choose from in the Google Playstore, and I chose AppLock by DoMobile Lab.

So far I’ve been pleased with the features and its ease of use.  You’ll need a pin number to install the app, but after that what you apply a lock to is entirely up to you.  It’s possible to lock individual apps, settings, even Wi-Fi, data and Bluetooth enabling.  I went through all of the options and picked the areas I don’t want others either browsing or changing on my device: messages, email, settings and contacts.  Now when I hand my device to one of my children I do not have to worry about them reading my messages, changing my ringtone, browsing my mail or any other inquisitive behavior on their part.  I didn’t lock other apps such as my library books or magazines since it doesn’t matter to me if they read those.  Now I can hand my device to someone and not have to worry about what they are doing while they have it. 

One small drawback is having to enter the pin number I created to access any of the locked features every time I want to use one.  When I want to send a text I have to enter the code again. For me this small inconvenience is far outweighed by the fact that I can keep my children out of my messages if they are using my device.  So take a look in your app store, read some reviews, and see if an app lock may help you manage your device and your privacy.