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There are several apps and software packages promising to protect you from email scams and hackers. Choose the right one to keep your data, personal information, and files secure.
Our lives are becoming more digital and public by the day. As more data gets stored in the cloud, payments get made online, and passwords get saved in our phones, security is becoming a top concern. From emails to texts, and browsers to passwords, we take a look at some of the security and privacy apps that can help keep you, your data, and your phone safe.
Staying Safe Starts With an Antivirus
Your first line of defense starts with your device and software. It’s crucial to install trustworthy and reputable antivirus software to keep your phone protected from viruses and hackers. A popular choice is Avast Mobile Security. It’s backed by one of the most well-known antivirus companies, Avast, and is free. Its firewall, and other features, like a call blocker and anti-theft, ensure your security no matter the situation.
Another popular option for antivirus is Trend Micro Mobile Security. It’s made especially for mobile devices, and emphasizes the importance of app security. It scans newly installed apps for malware, and stops them from snooping through your data. Trend Micro Mobile Security’s premium version includes even more safety features for browsing, calls and texts.
Securing Messages and Emails
Many are unaware that a simple text or email can open you up to hackers. In reality, a text to your co-worker asking her to pay you back for lunch can be a dangerous move. If you aren’t using a protected messaging platform, unwanted eyes may be able to access your conversations. Luckily there are apps like Silent Phone and Signal that aim to keep happy-go-lucky texters like us safe. Silent Phone was founded by Silent Circle, a well-known firm that offers secure communications solutions. The Silent Phone app, available for iOS and Android, provides encryption for your chats, video and voice calls, and file transfers. You can even choose to auto-destruct messages and files, for maximum security. The best part is that since the encryption keys are held by users rather than the company, Silent Circle has no access to your data. There’s also Signal, another end-to-end encryption app that encrypts messages and voice calls. Signal is all about security and goes a step further than most other companies, verifying the identity of the person you’re either talking to or messaging. It also helps keep you safe in group chats. It’s important to note that Signal only works with other Signal users, similar to Whatsapp.
If you are big on email, whether for work or personal use, you know that it’s a prime target for hackers. Phishing and ransomware are just some of the nasty tactics used to steal your personal information. ProtonMail helps by securing your emails. You will have to set up a ProtonMail account, much like a Gmail account, and use its platform. It encrypts every email you send between ProtonMail users automatically, and if you’re emailing a non-ProtonMail user, they’ll need to have a password to read the email.
If You Use a Password Manager
It’s ironic, but saving your passwords in a password manager isn’t always the smartest move. There are many apps that don’t have your best interest in mind and use their ostensible solution to scam you. But two trustworthy password manager apps trusted by thousands of people are 1Password and LastPass.
Having strong passwords is helpful, when you remember them. We recommend 1Password because it not only stores your passwords, but it encrypts them too. You can also use the app to create strong new passwords. LastPass is another good option. Like 1Password, it randomly generates new passwords for all your sites. This makes it really difficult for hackers to access your accounts. It also safely stores online profiles, as well as other sensitive data or personal information. Never worry about losing access, as it syncs your data across platforms for easy management.
Don’t Forget About Your Browser
Many times people browse and wind up on a page that has been compromised. All too often they underestimate the risks that come along with this. You can’t truly keep yourself and your phone safe without thinking about your browsing habits, the browser itself, and the protection offered.
If you don’t feel like changing your habits too much, go for an easy-to-use, safe browsing app like Orbot. It keeps all your web surfing secure through anonymization. The app works under your regular apps, like Messenger or Instagram, and anonymizes all of the information being passed. The only downside to Orbot is that it only works on Android. iPhone users, check out the NordVPN app. It’s intuitive and straightforward, and ensures a secure connection by encrypting and re-routing web traffic.
iPhone Users’ Last Resort
If you’ve taken all of these privacy and security apps into consideration and still want extra protection, or you want an app that can help you physically find your phone, Find My iPhone is for you. It’s one of the first apps you should install after getting a new iPhone. No matter if your phone was stolen or simply misplaced, the app can help you locate it through Apple’s website. It uses built-in GPS tracking, so you can see where it is on a map, and causes the phone to ring to help you find it if it’s under a couch cushion. If you think it’s been stolen, you can remotely wipe your data to protect your information.
Stay Secure 24/7
The more we manage our lives through our phones, the more important the security of our data and devices becomes. No matter if you’re into messaging, browsing, or email, use the recommended apps to keep yourself secure at all times and avoid potential disaster.