Privacy: The Secrecy app for Android

This post on Lifehacker from December 2014 (forgive me, I get sidetracked) pointed me to an Android app called Secrecy that creates encrypted “vaults” on your phone that can be used to store any type of file in a safe-from-prying-eyes manner. This can be useful in the same way that having an encrypted .zip file on a system with an already-encrypted hard drive can be useful: even if someone gains access to the first level of encryption, they don’t have access to items protected by the second.

I downloaded the app to take a look and it does what it says it does but there are some changes to the user interaction that I would like to see implemented before considering it to be a viable solution for end users:

  1. Vaults’ passwords are non-recoverable, at least within the app; a prompt should be added that notifies the user of his on first-time app launch (and probably on any upgrade)
  2. Files are copied into vaults, not moved; users may not remember to delete original files so this behaviour should be changed by default (and also should be changeable with in-app options)
  3. Vaults cannot be deleted without entering the vault password, which exposes the files to access prior to deletion; vaults should be able to be deleted within the app without the user entering a decryption password

With the above concerns as caveats, Secrecy is a good app for users who want to have an added level of security for sensitive files if someone gains access to their device in an unlocked state.

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