As the digital world is becoming the host of cybersecurity attacks and sophisticated data breaches, it is not uncommon to see smartphone users and online customers feel worried about privacy.
Often these concerns are about the intrusive rise in surveillance machines that follow us everywhere we go online. Our smartphone is a sensitive device as it holds incredible amount of personal data.
We store almost every aspect of our life in there including contacts, emails, chat messages, images and videos, banking interactions, etc.
It will be your worst nightmare if you lose all or any of it to a high-profile hacker. To ensure good level of privacy, there are a few Android privacy apps that address a range of usual privacy concerns.
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Thankfully, for Android users, there are plenty of privacy apps in this domain.
Here are out picks for best privacy apps for Android 2019.
Despite many free VPN choices out there, browsing the web on your Android device with ExpressVPN software is worth considering. The app encrypts the incoming and outgoing traffic on your device and users the intermediary server outside the current location for routing.
In doing so, ExpressVPN hides your digital footprint and keeps it distant from the reach of intrusive surveillance agencies and spies and hackers. It also unlocks geo-restricted content of the apps that are usually restricted in certain locations.
ExpressVPN offers strict high-grade encryption protocol service with generous server network and fast speed. This is why the app tops the list of best privacy apps for Android. It does not store user logs which is a unique aspect over other free VPNs.
Smartphone users are no exception when it comes to using their device as phones where simple voice calls initiate over wireless networks.
That means millennials needs protection and rest from those agonizing, undesirable phone calls. This also happens when you accidentally spill the contact details online for a sales rep to seize and call.
Hushed creates a temporary phone numbers to hide your real numbers. This is perfect when you go online and are compelled to fill out a form or post an ad on popular portals or fill a survey.
Hushed comes handy in situations when you need to create caller IDs for personal and business purpose so that you don’t have to bother to have a second phone in spare.
Developed by the Guardian Project, Orbot provides a great solution for Android users to access the Tor network.
For mobile browsing with Orfox browser, the app lets allows users to safely browse the web without concerns about getting their location tracked.
The app encrypts your locations and hides it by routing it through several networks. You can use Tor hidden services and its gives .onion extension to certain websites you visit such Facebook.
This results in extra security. A small drawback is that while routing your data through a number of computers, your data connection speed will get compromised a little.
Search engines are quite useful but one major demerit of using Google and Bing is that your search term is often shared with third-party sites you visit.
They also deliberately save your search history which can be changed from the setting. Apart from traceable searches, they also intrude your privacy by placing cookies on your device to monitor your search habits.
This is where DuckDuckGo aids and acts as a drop-in replacement. It blocks your default search engine typical behavior so that your search data is not leaked to websites you visit and Google does not keep the record of the search information.
DuckDuckGo is ad-free and users can also hide their search location since it works compatibly with Orbot.
Google’s invasive eye is far more powerful than just being limited to search as its tracking algorithm within Gmail also helps present more targeted ads, marketing messages and product recommendations.
However, this does not mean all of these incoming email messages and ads are end-to-end encrypted. The same goes with other leading email providers.
ProtonMail is a superior alternative to Gmail and similar contemporaries. It is secure and innovative, and is engineered by CERN professionals.
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It is made open source for others to test and check. With this app, you can send password-protected content that is perfectly encrypted and can self-destruct after some time.
FrozenChat, as the name slightly hints, is a message encryption solution. It is one of the best privacy apps which relies on OTR (Off the Record) messaging to keep your conversation private and safe.
The moment you type anything, it gets encrypted before it is sent outside. Whatever you talk and chat remains private and away from malicious hackers and data thieves.
FrozenChat is open source so those who are concerned about the security can check its code for efficacy.
The unique aspect about FrozenChat service is that it supports XMPP standard which is different from the central server that other messengers like WhatsApp use to enable chatting.
Due to availability of thousands of public XMPP servers, your privacy remains intact.
Kyms (extended as ‘keep your media safe’) is a master of disguise, a chameleon app that conceals its real identity and pose as a normal calculator in your system.
When it dwells your home screen, it goes by the name ‘KyCalc’ and, to your surprise, it can also do your sums if you wish. But as you enter a predetermined four-digit PIN and password, it turns into an encrypted vault.
You can use this vault to store text, images and more. Moreover, this phenomenal app also has a built-in web browser and store videos straight as you download them.
You can also transfer media from other devices. Of course, as you enter the app name in Play store or glimpse at the file size shown in the phone system, you will realize this is more than just a plain calculator.
As millennials tend to use same or similar passwords across almost all sites and apps, it leaves them vulnerable to data breaches and information thefts.
However, to ensure high standards of safety, they have to generate new passkeys for every other site and app, which is painful. Plus, the recovery process for multiple password approach turns out to be quite tedious and annoying.
But then why to risk compromising your password and exposing your social media account details to hackers? LastPass does care and plays a strong password manager and generator for you and helps store such private, sensitive information in a secure vault.
The app also lets you set it to change passwords automatically to your desired timing.
It is very usual to find swipe patters and numeric codes on every Android smartphone these days. But they only serve to lock the front screen and are not enough.
One can easily access the apps and folders inside the phone once they cross the screen lock barrier.
This is not security enough as sometime you feel insecure or uncomfortable handing your phone to someone who take freedom to sneak into more than what they are supposed to access on your phone.
For example, you don’t want your young kids to access certain data or applications. Smart Applock here comes handy and allows you to change permission settings for individual apps on your phone.
Using the app, you create a strong password to block their access to social media and chat apps that contain your critical data.
People who are hackers and snoopers are always on the foot to hack, steal the information of value and misuse it. Although you use several encryption services like FrozenChat, they will still intrude and find out who you are and other details about your contacts.
Abit is an open-source app with Bitmessage protocol to helps you beat this problem. Using Abit, you can easily exchange messages with Bitmessage users and no one can know who you are to impersonate you or read your private messages.
For participating in group discussion with ‘Chans’, you can use its generic address to conceal your true identity. Since its consumes good amount of data, it is better to use it over Wi-Fi.
11) Find My Device
Find my Device is Google’s proprietary app and is similar in workstyle to Find my iPhone. It helps you locate your lost Android device and disable it in case it is stolen.
You can view location information to find its whereabouts or make it play sound if it is nearby.
In case it is lost, this privacy app enables you to leave a callback number so that when it is found by a good person, they can return it to you quickly.
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These are the best privacy apps for Android users in 2019. You can download some of them to try and keep ones that suit your needs.
We also recommend you to stick to strict measures to avoid falling into the security-related trouble. The preventive measure is to carefully select individual app permissions to maintain data privacy.