No matter if you use public wi-fi networks or have your own home network that requires passcode access, securing private and personal information on a cell phone, tablet or other wi-fi-enabled device is a real challenge. Because there are no wires involved, files and information that are sensitive are easily intercepted in transit from one mobile device to another, and for many of us who are mobile and don’t often spend much time near a hard-wired desktop or laptop, find ourselves in a difficult quandary when we need to send that important document right now.
Varying cloud storage services claim to be secure, but if you know anything about the cloud, you know that the security is not exactly like Fort Knox. And of course with files being sent through the air on wi-fi, there is virtually no security from the device to the cloud storage. There are some apps that claim to provide a level of security when transmitting files wirelessly, but one seems to be the best available today, especially for those in the Apple environment.
If you have an iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch that has a recently updated iOS, you might want to try PIN Genie Vault, a wireless encryption app that seems to be the best suited to handling sensitive or personal communications over wi-fi and storage in iCloud. What makes this app different from others is that it has state-of-the-art encryption using the AES 256 algorithm, which is the most secure available and is used prominently by the U.S. government and other federal contractors. The app requests that you create a four-digit PIN and it encrypts it so it is nearly impossible to crack.
This encryption allows the sender, from a wifi-enabled device like an iPhone or iPad, to transmit the file or data to another person or store it in iCloud or Dropbox. From there, the data could only be accessed by those who have the PIN.
Bonus features are that you can set up a dummy or decoy PIN to fend off potential hackers with nefarious purposes, and the ability to eschew the PIN and instead use your Apple Touch ID to secure the files. This is very handy if you are and will be the only one who will ever access the files.
The interface is easy to understand, and all it takes is a tap to put in the PIN and have the file secured from any prying eyes you wish not to see the information. It is easy to use, easy to transmit, and it is trustworthy in getting the files to their desired destination.
So far, for a first version, this app is really good. The only issue I see that might and should be addressed in a future version is that the Apple Watch app only allows you to look at files; you can’t access them to edit or forward to other people. Maybe for some people that is not a big deal, but for those who are very mobile and like to collaborate with other nomads, this could be a slight inconvenience.
Overall, it is time for technology to meet the needs of a mobile population. We should not have to sacrifice security or privacy for mobility, and thanks to apps like PIN Genie Vault, we don’t have to compromise.
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