Secure files on your smartphone with Google Safe Folder

With all the images and documents we save to our smartphones, they’ve become portable security risks. To help keep these sensitive files safe, Google has launched Safe Folder.

Safe Folder, which is a part of the Files by Google app, is an encrypted folder protected by a four-digit PIN. Once you save files in this folder, they are inaccessible without entering your PIN.

You can save virtually any file type in your Safe Folder, so everything from Word or PDF documents to videos to audio files are secure.

Once you set up your Safe Folder, create a PIN and move files to it, the system automatically locks the folder when you navigate away from it. Even if it remains open in the background, you still must enter your PIN to view the files.

So, if you have your Safe Folder open and hand your phone to someone to make a call, you know the folder is secure once you close Safe Folder or the borrower opens the phone app.

While Safe Folder is new, the Files by Google system launched in 2017. With Files by Google, Android users can quickly delete unwanted and duplicate files, transfer files to other Android users, back up files to the cloud and more. It also helps clean up temporary files that gobble up precious memory.

Safe Folder is still in beta, so its availability is limited. Google expects a broader rollout in the coming weeks.

Once it’s available, you can activate Safe Folder by installing and opening the Files by Google app, tapping “Browse” at the bottom of the screen, scrolling to “Collections” and tapping “Safe Folder.” From there, simply follow the prompts to create a PIN and activate the folder.