Straight out of the box, iPhones provide better security than Android devices. Adding the right apps to your Android phone, however, can improve your security and privacy. Start by downloading these four free apps to protect your privacy while using your Android smartphone.
Signal is a texting app that will replace your Android device’s native app. After downloading Signal to your phone, your texts are automatically encrypted. Only you and the recipient have the key to unlock and read the text. Not even Signal can open encrypted messages.
While Signal is the most secure way to send text messages, it does have its faults. The biggest fault is that it only works when you and the person you’re texting use the app. If the recipient doesn’t use Signal, your message gets sent as a regular, unencrypted text.
RedPhone, which is made by the same company that developed Signal, encrypts your phone calls so no one can listen. That includes everyone from the National Security Agency (NSA) to a hacker who wants to learn information about you.
RedPhone uses voice over internet protocol (VoIP) instead of minutes from your calling plan. As long as you have access to a trustworthy internet connection, you can place secure calls that prevent eavesdropping. While this increases your security, it could also lead to high data charges. Make sure your phone plan gives you enough data to use RedPhone without charging you extra money.
Email security has become a big issue during the 2016 political cycle. Between Hillary Clinton’s email scandal and WikiLeaks releasing thousands of emails taken from the Democrat National Committee, you probably already know that email security is important.
Just because you’re not a powerful politician, however, doesn’t mean you’re safe from email hacking. Thieves can use your email to learn information that makes it easier for them to steal your identity. K-9 Mail automatically encrypts your emails so no one can intercept them. A hacker trying to take your emails would just see a bunch of nonsense.
Ideally, you should never let another person use your smartphone. In reality, though, there’s a chance that you’d even let a stranger use it for a few minutes, especially if you believe that person is having an emergency.
While using your phone, anyone can open apps without your permission. Few people would really try to open your bank app or read your emails, but it could happen. App Ops lets you lock specific apps so no one can access them without authorization.
With App Ops, you gain a whole new level of phone security that blocks access to the apps you care about. It’s a lot more useful than similar apps that lock everything on your phone. Realistically, you only need to worry about a handful of your phone’s apps. The rest, like your calculator app, aren’t worth locking.
Smartphones are extremely convenient, but they can also leave you open to privacy and security violations. Using the right apps will give you more privacy so you don’t have to worry that Big Brother is listening.
Image via Flickr by SimonQ錫濛譙