Last updated on April 7th, 2015 at 08:17 pmYou don’t have to be the average paranoiac to feel the need to protect some or all of your iPhone contacts. Situations arise, in our everyday life, that require partial or total privacy. Nowadays, information is power and if you own it, you have to learn how to protect it. This even applies to those common 10-digit number combinations assigned to names and stored in your iOS Contacts app!
There are multiple levels of protection when it comes to hiding your iPhone contacts, depending on how much and for how long you expose your gadget. If you’re the only one with a stored Touch ID fingerprint on your device and no one else knows your Passcode, you can ensure privacy with the help of a few built-in iOS features. Else, you’ll need to grab a third party app and add an extra layer of protection!
1. Trick Sneak Peekers With Nicknames
The most basic way to protect an iPhone contact’s privacy is to use a nickname, instead of the real name. If your device lands in the hands of someone else and you don’t want them to see that you’ve exchanged calls or messages with a delicate contact, simply use the built-in iOS nickname field.
This is done by opening the Contacts app. Browse for the desired entry, tap Edit, scroll for ‘add field’, select Nickname, complete the newly created field. Next, delete the First and Last name entries.
2. Hide Contacts In App Switcher
Exposing your recent interactions and favorite contacts can happen frequently, if you use the App Switcher tool, while in public. Whenever you attempt to switch between recently browsed apps, your device also displays an array with your favorite contacts, followed by the recent entries that you talked with.
If you seek for privacy you can disable this feature, by browsing Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendars -> Show In App Switcher. Tap one or both selections to activate or deactivate this feature.
3. Hide All Entries From Contacts
iOS provides a built-in setting that allows you to make groups of contacts invisible and even hide your entire list. This is achieved from within the Contacts app. Tap on Groups in the top left corner of your screen. If you have more than one sources of synced contacts the Hide All Contacts feature becomes available at the top of the Groups screen. If you don’t want to make all entries invisible, simply untick only one or more categories. Do mind that this trick won’t prevent your contacts from displaying in a spotlight search. So, you’ll also have to visit Settings -> General -> Spotlight Search and uncheck Contacts from the list!
4. Use Thirs Party Apps To Lock Sensible Contacts
If you want to be sure that no one will be able to browse your sensible contacts even if they grab your unlocked iPhone, you have to use a third party app that allows you to create and import contacts, photos, mails, messages and more within a password protected folder!
The best softwares from the App Store that come with these features and have been tested by us are: CoverMe (it’s up to date, and comes with a lot of features!) and Secret Contact, Photo & Video (a little outdated and still has a few bugs, like playing videos in landscape mode).
The principle is simple but very efficient. After you download & install one of the apps, you’re asked to set up a passcode which will be used everytime you wish to access the protected media. CoverMe comes with Touch ID integration, so you’ll be able to access your hidden contacts via your iPhone’s fingerprint reader. Next up, you can create a new contact available only in the protected folder, or import one or several entries from the iOS built-in Contacts app. In this case, you’re asked if you wish to delete the contact from the regular phone book, so that full privacy is guaranteed. If you receive or initiate a call with a protected contact, only the number will be displayed on the screen. So no one will be able to know who you converse with!