With many of us having our entire lives and all our personal information somewhere on our phones, security and privacy are extremely important. LEO Privacy Guard is a security app full of features that attempt to keep your information safe and away from anyone looking for it. You can lock apps, hide messages and contacts, and even give your phone a performance boost if it needs it. The only question that remains, how well does it work?
LEO Privacy Guard setup
Setting up LEO Privacy Guard is fairly simple. When you first open the app, you are given a few splash screens that go over the main features in the app, and you are then asked to set a password so only you can access and make changes within the app itself. It defaults to a pattern password, but you can change it to a PIN code if you prefer. In case you forget your password, there is also a security question to fill out so you can still gain access.
LEO Privacy Guard usage
LEO Privacy Guard is free, and the first thing you will notice are the little aliens that hide at the edges of your screen. Clicking on them opens a page called “APP JOY” that gives you a grid of sponsored apps to install. These are basically the only ads you will see in the app aside from a couple of banner ads at the bottom, and for the most part, ads are unobtrusive.
The overall design of LEO Privacy Guard is somewhat cartoon-ish. Some may like this and others might not, and I happen to fall into the latter category. It is not bad, but I find it a bit to childish for an app centered around security.
The main feature of this app is App Lock which allows you to protect whichever apps you want behind the same password you set at the beginning. Putting an app behind a password is fairly simple. You tap on App Lock, select the apps you wish to protect, and you are done.
When you try to open an app that is protected, you are supposed to be met with the splash screen asking you enter the password. Unfortunately, I experienced significant delay between opening the app and having the password screen appear. For a full three seconds, you can see everything in the app you opened before being prompted to put in a password.
While that might not sound like a long time, it did give me enough time to open my email app (which was protected) and click on a specific email. After the password prompt popped up, I exited the app and immediately opened it again. I found the email I had clicked on was still open and I was able to take a screenshot before the password screen showed up again. This gives someone plenty of time to search through your email or text messages to find certain personal information and snap a picture before being met with the password prompt.
As I mentioned earlier, there is a “Boost” feature that cleans up your RAM and claims to make your phone run faster. With most modern smartphones, memory cleanup is not needed and I would have rather they left this feature out.
There is also a section in the app labeled “Protection” that looks like it will tell you if your phone is susceptible to a security risk. What it actually does is tell you if you have utilized all the features in LEO Security Guard. So if you haven’t hidden apps, pictures, messages, and contacts, you will have a protection “alert” in the app.
One more feature called “App Cover” attempts to add a little more security to those apps you password protected. You can choose to have a fake phone call happen, an error message, and a few other screens pop up every time a protected app is opened. Unfortunately, I found these to cause an even longer time between opening an app and being prompted to enter a password.
What I liked:
- Easy to set up
- Decent security for protection against siblings or friends
What I did not like:
- Actual security features are lacking
- Long time between opening app and seeing password prompt
- Mostly useless “Protection” feature
- Not needed “Boost” feature
2.5 out of 5 stars
Now it is time to answer the question from the beginning of this review, and the answer is that this app does not work extremely well. Interaction is fluid, but the actual security part (which is the point of the app) is majorly lacking. If you are just planning on using this app to keep a younger sibling or nosy friend out of your messages or pictures, it will probably work.
But if you are looking for an app that will provide real security for the sensitive information you keep on your phone, you should look elsewhere. The lag between opening an app and being asked for a password allows for anyone looking for personal information to find it and even take a picture of it.