Ok, many of you may not like the title, but it's practical. I faced a very weird kind of problem today. I had been to a shuttle badminton tournament and while playing my match I forgot my phone with my student who is a very good friend too. I came back to home after losing the match :( and only then I remembered that I had left the phone with him. Though I have protected my opening menu screen with a password - my student knew the password since he was playing some games with it all day. Though I know my student very well and trust him too, I started getting this feeling of what if he checks my mails, what if sees my messages and many other private stuff. He could even check my Facebook profile.
I changed my Gmail password with the hope that it will solve my problem to some extent. Yes it will solve the problem to some extent if my Facebook account was linked to my Gmail account. But what if you are using some other email to link to your Facebook?
After an hour or so I got back my mobile intact and I was scolding myself for having doubted him. But, considering the amount of private data a smartphone carries now a days, those thoughts were not baseless. So back home I tried to see if gmail app opens, and to my shock it did. Though I could not refresh it and see new mails because I had changed the password and failing to access my account it could not download new mails. But, any one who gets access to my phone can see the cached mails. That's when it occurred to me to get a permanent solution to this problem, I knew I will be leaving my phone in hands of others and I did not want to cast doubts on their integrity because of my stupidity. I searched the Anroid Market for a solution.
Now I am happily using an application called "Protector by Alexander Kosenkov". The free version of this app allows you to set a password for protecting up to 8 applications on your Android phone. The full version can be purchased on the market for a nominal $1 price which removes the constraint put by the free version.
This is a "must have" app if you are worried about the data you have on your phone. But don't forget to do these things before you start trusting the app
1. Set your recovery email before setting the password. This way if you forget the password - the password set will be sent to your email address. Please give a valid email address.
2. Set some number as the password pin and this can be used to protect any app.
3. Just click on add before you want to protect any new app.
In the end, don't forget this last step -- don't buy the plugin before installing and trying out the free app :)
Last but not the least, don't be dumb enough to give this pin to your friend too. This way while you can happily give your smartphone to your friend to use, yet still block access to apps like mails or your social networks.