Gadgets

11 security apps that’ll keep your phone private

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David Cornish
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The digital world is a scary place, haunted by the virtual equivalents of boogeymen (hackers) and things that go bump in the night (GCHQ, FBI).

Even the likes of Mark Zuckerberg aren't safe from security breaches - particularly if you're using the same password for multiple accounts (the numpty). 

Should you wish to keep your phone and its data safe from such horrors, you might wish to employ the skills of those apps specialising in encryption, protection and generally telling nosey sorts to "Bugger off".

  • 11 security apps that'll keep your phone private

    Signal

    You don't have to pay for privacy.

    Signal uses something called Axolotl protocol to give you encrypted phone calls and texts - using your existing phone number. Signal doesn't even keep a copy of your messages, so there's no risk of their own servers getting hacked.

    Get it here: iOS, Android

  • 11 security apps that'll keep your phone private 1

    AVAST!

    Want to keep your Android phone free from viruses, malware, adware and spyware? Of course you do - you're not a pillock.

    With its virus scanner and backup system, Avast is amongst the best free security apps on the Google Play store. There are a bunch of handy anti-theft tools to sweeten the deal, allowing you to shut down or wipe your phone in case it gets pinched or lost. 

    If Bond were a real smartphone user, this would be his first download (followed swiftly by Tinder, obviously). 

    Get it here

  • 11 security apps that'll keep your phone private 2

    SOMA

    A messaging service not unlike Whatsapp, SOMA's main sell is its "high level" of encryption. 

    Messages are encrypted the moment they leave your phone, meaning only the intended recipient can read it. Other features include permanent deletion of messages and the undelivered messages expiring after a week - rather than waiting to get picked up by snooping eyes. Even the app's makers can't access your data.

    Secure group chats can also include 500 participants, while conference calls can host up to four video participants at a time.

    Available here: iOS, Android

  • 11 security apps that'll keep your phone private 3

    Find my iPhone

    No, it won't make your iPhone less "hackable" - but say your security threat moves from the virtual to the very physical, you'll want this in your arsenal.

    By connecting this app to your iCloud account, you'll be able to track your phone from any computer, remotely lock your handset, wipe your data and access a bunch of useful information like battery life.

    Just be sure your iCloud account details are kept secure at all times, otherwise this is the easiest way to hand over your iPhone to any would-be pranksters/vengeful ex-lovers. 

    Get it here

  • 11 security apps that'll keep your phone private 4

    Vault

    Want to store your messages, photos and videos away from prying eyes? You'll need Vault. 

    More than a virtual safe box for your phone data, the Vault can protect individual apps as well, requiring a key code before accessing something like Snapchat or Whatsapp. 

    There's also a neat feature that allows you to  snap a photo of anyone attempting to "crack" your vault - bound to result in some pretty awkward conversations with the suspect in question.

    Get it here: iOS, Android

  • 11 security apps that'll keep your phone private 5

    Secrecy

    You can make Secrecy as secret as you want - hiding it from the rest of your phone altogether without a pass key. 

    Encrypt images, messages and videos, set up password-protected vaults, easily import data files from other apps - Secrecy is one of the most intuitive security services out there. It looks gorgeous as well. 

    Get it here

  • 11 security apps that'll keep your phone private 6

    Hotspot Shield

    Want to connect to public Wi-Fi or set up your own hotspot without leaving yourself exposed? Download this.

    With the Hotspot Shield active, you'll hide your IP address, identity and details from websites and access points, and encrypt all data passing between your phone and the web. 

    Get it here: iOS, Android

  • 11 security apps that'll keep your phone private 7

    Norton Identity Safe

    One of the major names in computer security has one of the best mobile password managers on offer.

    If you're happy with an app grouping together all your passwords and accounts, Norton's app makes remembering and auto-filling passwords an easy, safe option. 

    Syncing across all your devices, you can set it up in minutes - though you may forget all your passwords once they're "saved" away.

    You can even add payment details and credit card numbers, but it should be noted that the best way of keeping this information safe is never storing them digitally at all - even if that is slightly inconvenient. 

    Get it here: iOS, Android

  • 11 security apps that'll keep your phone private 8

    VIP Access

    Anyone who's set up an account with remote approval before will be familiar with how VIP Access works.

    Add website accounts (eBay, PayPal) that might have banking details you want to keep secure, and any time someone attempts to sign in to it, your phone will receive a request. 

    By hitting "Approve", you'll generate a one-time use security code that you'll then need to input with your other details - adding a tighter-than-tight security step to your sign in process.

    Get it here: iOS, Android

  • 11 security apps that'll keep your phone private 9

    Blackphone 2

    Not a security app, but a whole handset. 

    With its own unique, security-focused operating system, the Blackphone 2 comes with a range of its own privacy apps, ensure you can keep data safe, phone calls private and tap about safe in the knowledge that no one can rifle through your personals. 

    At £658, it turns out you can put a price on privacy.

  • 11 security apps that'll keep your phone private 10

    Privates!

    An attempt to create a 'safe' version of SnapchatPrivates! allows you to send encrypted picture and text messages with a range of features that make them more secure.

    It's biggest sell is the series of additional steps you can set to prevent recipients from taking a screenshot of an image you send them - only revealing the image if they rapidly tap two parts of their screen, or keep their phone balanced at a particular angle. Not foolproof, but added peace of mind.

    Get it here

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Author

David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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