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Google launches file vault for users that share their devices

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

In order to protect the sensitive files of users that share their devices with others, Google has added a secure file vault called Safe Folder to its Files app.

The search giant first released the app back in 2017 to help users free up space, manage content and share files on their smartphones. However, Google has now added a new Safe Folder feature to Files to help keep personal content protected when family members or others share a device with one another.

Safe Folder is a secure, 4-digit PIN-encrypted folder that protects users' important documents, images, videos and audio files from being opened, accessed or even deleted by others. The folder is securely locked as soon as a user switches to another app so that none of its contents can be accessed when the app is open in the background.

When Files is reopened, the app will ask a user to reenter their PIN as a security assurance. While intended for those who share their mobile devices with others, even those that don't can benefit from keeping their most important files safe and protected by a PIN with the new Safe Folder feature.

Files by Google

When Google first released its Files app in 2017, the company's intention was to help people who live in countries such as India, Nigeria and Brazil that often run out of space on their smartphones on a daily basis.

Now more than 150m people around the world regularly use the app each month to help reduce the stress of managing content and space on their smartphones.

Since its launch, Files has deleted over 1tn files, saved over 400PB of space on user's phones and freed up about 12GB of storage space every second.

Google's new Safe Folder feature will being rolling out in beta for Files today and availability will gradually expand over the coming weeks.