Smartphones store a ridiculous amount of data. Thus, by now, most people have learned that they need to protect their phones. Everyone uses phone locks and passwords, and most people know what two-factor authentication is. But there’s so much more a person can do to protect their device and their privacy.
Check out these six apps that will guarantee the kind of privacy that everyone should be striving for.
1. Firefox Focus — Free (Android / iOS)
Browsers, while necessary, are a massive security issue. They collect vast amounts of data and track your every move online. Their built-in trackers also allow websites to receive info on their users for advertisement and convenience purposes. Well, that’s the official reason, at least.
More secure private browsers do exist. But Firefox Focus makes for an excellent mainstream choice. It comes with the security features that Mozilla provides to Firefox but with added privacy elements. Firefox Focus blocks most online trackers. The app also makes it easy to erase session data in seconds. In fact, the “erase” button is always visible and ready to delete everything.
2. NordVPN — Price Depends on Subscription Choice (Android / iOS)
People connect to the internet through VPN servers for various reasons. But privacy is the chief among them. VPN services keep others, including ISPs and governments, from looking into what someone is doing online. They encrypt your internet traffic and hide your IP address to protect them from malicious snoopers.
NordVPN is a favorite VPN option among internet users. Thanks to their fantastic discounts and plenty of advanced features, they have 12 million users worldwide. At the same time, you can connect to the VPN on up to six devices. Plus, there are 5700 fast VPN servers in different countries to choose from.
3. FreeOTP Authenticator — Free (Android / iOS)
Two-factor authentication has become pivotal in the fight against stolen passwords and data breaches. Many apps and websites now allow two-factor authentication, but not all do.
FreeOTP Authenticator adds authentication to almost any app and website that requires a login. Google has a similar authentication service, but FreeOTP is open-source. In theory, that makes it a bit more secure. Plus, it’s more convenient to have one app for all connected accounts instead of having to activate it for each separately.
4. Bouncer — $0.99 (Android)
App permissions are a big privacy oversight trap that many people tend to fall into. Hitting “Accept” and forgetting to scrutinize the requests of the app is much too easy to do. And that’s concerning, to say the least. Many apps ask “risky permissions” and share the data they collect with third-party partners.
Bouncer helps reduce the potential impact of app permissions by managing them with an iron fist. You can allow and revoke all app permissions at any time. So say, for example, that Instagram asks for access to the phone’s camera. You can grant access when the app is in use and then revoke it again after a predetermined amount of time.
5. Password Safe — Free (Android / iOS)
The average person has around 190 passwords. Imagine having to remember that many unique long-form passwords. Hint: most people can’t. That’s why password managers exist.
Password Safe app is not yet a popular option when it comes to keeping passwords. But it’s free, and it’s open-source. It’s a reliable option that many people have entrusted with safekeeping their passwords.
Password Safe encrypts and stores all your passwords, and also generate unique passwords for you. You can also use it to store notes, and it’s pretty easy to use the app. Though, the app doesn’t have more advanced features, like logging in to accounts with one click.
6. KYMS — Free (Android / iOS)
Keep Your Media Safe, or KYMS for short, looks like a standard calculator app. In truth, it’s a media vault in disguise. KYMS can store almost any file type, including images, music, video, PDFs, and RTF documents. It also encrypts all these files with AES encryption.
The app functions like an average calculator (under the name KyCalc) but opens up the vault after you enter a specific four-digit PIN. A built-in browser is a nice added extra that allows you to save content to the vault.
An overwhelming amount of data breaches and malware attacks have left people concerned about their privacy. More and more people want to know how to protect their files and devices. The problem is, it isn’t always clear what the best steps are. These six apps listed above are an excellent way to cover the bases of smartphone privacy.