In a bid to “make the internet more inclusive,” Google has introduced a new feature that will allow Files by Google users to “keep personal content [safer]”. The new feature is called Safe Folder and is a 4-digit PIN-encrypted folder which protects documents, audios, videos and images – perfect for keeping away prying eyes (and fingers).
According to Google, the new feature is predominantly aimed at people who share devices: “In many places around the world, sharing a personal device with spouses, siblings or children is often a cultural expectation, especially for women.
“Sharing a device can be beneficial, but it comes with the risk that others might access your personal files.”
The new feature means that kids using your devices to play games or learn won’t be able to get at any of your important documents and edit, delete or even accidentally share them. The lock will be applied as soon as you leave the app, so even if it’s still running in the background, your files will be safe. Of course, this means you’ll be asked to re-enter your PIN every time you come back to the app, but that’s a small price to pay for added security.
However, AndroidPolice did issue a slight warning when reporting on the new feature: “All these secured files disappear from any other file browser or gallery app, so beware when clearing app data in the Files app or uninstalling it.
If you do that, you’ll lose access to those files because they’re not reachable from anywhere else. I tested this and found that they didn’t come back once Files was reinstalled and set up”.