According to Pew researchers, “more than half of app users have uninstalled or decided to not install an app due to concerns about personal information.” If you’re concerned about Internet privacy and cyber security, the following smartphone apps should help give you some peace of mind.
1. Silent Circle’s Silent Phone iPhone | Android
Silent Circle is one of the leading names in the privacy biz, and their Silent Phone app is used by both individuals and business clients. Silent Phone lets you make private calls with full video and conference capability. A companion app, Silent Text, is also available.
Pros:Ideal for the privacy-obsessedNo need to import contacts already on your deviceGreat call qualityUses open source encryptionSilent Circle founders are the creators of the world’s most widely used and trusted encryption software – PGP and ZRTP
Cons:App is free, subscription to use the service is notFor the price you pay, some subscribers want deeper anonymityInstallation process takes too longSilent Circle may suspend any Silent Circle account that has not been used for six monthsService does not automatically jump from a bad Wi-Fi connection to 3G/4G
2. Noot iPhone | Android
Unlike other news readers, Noot requires no sign up at all. Additionally, the makers of Noot believe that people should be allowed to access news and topics on their phones they care about without having their personal data tracked and sold. You can get tailored news feeds delivered to your phone, without wondering if your embarrassing love of certain topics will get found out.
Pros:Limited distractionsPro-privacy ethosScannable headlinesCreate multiple streams, view them separately or all togetherFree
Cons:Limited language localization options at this timeTablet version of the app seems more cluttered than the smartphone versionRelatively new app, may still have some bugs to work outPersonalization features learn what you like over time and suggest what else you might like: great for many, but a select few privacy fanatics may find this cool feature invasive
3. Sophos Free Antivirus and Security for Android
According to an article on PC World, the number of mobile apps infected with malware in Google’s Play store nearly quadrupled between 2011 and 2013. Keep your Android device safe by downloading Sophos’ free security app, which will help you scan for threats and develop good security habits.
Pros:Free app that is full featured and nag-freeSchedule regular app scansScans apps as they downloadHelps you identify NSFW apps Supports remote commands for the following in the event of loss or theft: wipe, lock, alarm (scream), locate, message to finder, reset passcode
Cons:Some users have reported freezes/locks with appCan drain your batteryRequires frequent authenticationLoss/theft suite of options could stand to have a few more possibilities, including taking pictures or alerting authoritiesApp prone to crashing or overheating devices when in use
4. Cyber Dust – Disappearing Chat Messenger iPhone | Coming Soon For Android
Cyber Dust is somewhat similar to Snapchat, but with a few key differences. Unlike the newest version of Snapchat, Cyber Dust doesn’t support video chatting…but video chat support is coming soon. Messages auto-destruct after 30 seconds, and this app is great because it has no character limits on chats.
Pros:Supports GIFs and also lets you add text over imagesFree appRequires iOS 6.1 or later (great for people who haven’t upgraded to iOS 7.0 or 7.1 yet)Screenshot detection Messages are encrypted
Cons:Not clear what type of encryption is usedLacks some features found in SnapchatFor fastest possible messaging, you must be running iOS 7.0 or laterPush notifications may sometimes lagIf the recipient does not receive the message within 12 hours, it is deleted permanently
5. Cloak VPN for iPhone
Cloak is a VPN service that allows you to use public Wi-Fi safely, or to bypass blocks on your web access. Cloak VPN offers a 30-day free trial. Cloak plans cost as little as $1.99/month after your free trial expires. Cloak stands out because of their friendly, funny, and fast customer service. It is not available for Android devices at this time.
Pros:Keeps your browsing history secure on public Wi-FiFast and simple to get startedUse the app for 30 days before you have to pay a pennyIntuitive designReliable, lets you auto-secure on non-trusted or unfamiliar networks
Cons:Service subscription costs add up over timeService has both “passes” and “subscriptions.” If you’re currently paying for a subscription, you won’t be able to buy a pass, and vice versa.No “blacklisting” functionLimited customization optionsNo Android or PC support
For the best mobile experience, we recommend:
Headphones: iFrogz CAL-STEALT Caliber Stealth Mobile Gaming Headphones with Mic
Portable charger: Anker® 2nd Gen Astro 6000mAh (2A Output) Portable Charger
iPhone 5 Battery Case: Belkin Grip Power Battery Case
Samsung S5 Battery Case: UNU Unity Samsung Galaxy S5 Battery Case
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