How to 'hide' photos on your device
In the previous issue, we talked about putting a PIN (Personal Identification Number) on your smartphone/tablet. A PIN that only you know is akin to a deadbolt on your front door. If your smartphone/tablet is lost or stolen, the person who finds it, or the nefarious person who stole it, will not be able to get into the device without knowing your PIN.
I also wrote that both Apple and Google, creators of "iOS" and "Android" operating systems for their smartphones/tablets respectively, have a way to "hide" photos from appearing in their Photos (aka photo album) app. For example, if you take a digital photo of your vaccination card, moving it to the hidden album or locked folder will prevent that photo from appearing in the Photos app alongside pictures of your grandkids!
Here are the steps to hide photos on your device:
- For iPhone/iPad, find the picture you want to hide within the Photos app and follow these steps: tap on the photo you want to hide -> on the left hand bottom of the screen, click on the icon that has an "upward arrow superimposed on a square" (aka share) -> scroll down the various choices until you see the "Hide" selection item (icon of an eye with a slash through it) and tap on it -> when told "This photo will be hidden, but can be found in the Hidden album." tap on "Hide Photo" (or "Cancel" if you change your mind). When you need to show the photo you hid with the above steps, for example to show the photo of your vaccination card, start the Photos app -> tap on the "Albums" icon at the bottom (second from right) -> scroll down until you see the selection item "Hidden" (accompanied by an icon of an eye with a slash through it) under the "Utilities" heading and that will show the photos you've elected to put in the Hidden album.
- For Android-based smartphone/tablet, find the picture you want to hide within the Photos app and follow these steps: tap on the photo to hide -> on the top right hand of the screen, tap the "three vertical dots" -> scroll to your right and tap on "Move to Locked Folder" (accompanied with an icon of a lock pad) -> when asked "Move to Locked Folder?", tap on "Move" (or tap "Cancel" if you change your mind). When you need to show the photo, tap the "Library" (bottom right) in your Photos app -> tap the "Utilities" button on the top right -> tap the "Locked Folder" (lock pad icon) -> provide your PIN when prompted and it will show you the contents of the Locked Folder. As you can see, Android's (Google) methodology to hide photos is a little more secure than iOS's (Apple), granted you have set the PIN as explained in the prior column.
Note: The above instructions for putting select photos in the Hidden album (iPhone/iPad) or Locked Folder (Android-based smartphone/tablet) may not be available on older versions of iOS or Android operating systems.
Strategist and technologist with over 30 years of experience in the private sector. Holds Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Science and Executive MBA from Cleveland State University.
As Founder of the Center for Aging in the Digital World, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit empowering seniors with digital literacy, Tak connects the dots to help people utilize appropriate technology in their personal and professional lives while using digital literacy as a tool for seniors to avoid loneliness and social isolation.