6 best cybersecurity and privacy apps
Malware, Trojans, eavesdroppers, trackers and thieves … the threats are endless. Although it has been almost a decade since smartphones became mainstream, these problems have not gone away. In fact, they’ve only gotten worse.
In addition to your device’s internal security options, there are different cybersecurity apps that can help protect your phone from hackers and other criminals. Here are some of the best we’ve found and can recommend. Do you need them all? Not at all. Pick and choose the ones that suit you best.
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Antivirus & Malware Apps
You may notice that these first two apps are mainly for Android. That’s because other mobile operating systems are not as susceptible to infections.
360 mobile security (free)
Of all the mobile security apps we’ve tried, this one has provided the cleanest and most enjoyable experience. The only downside is that it tries to be an all-in-one app and some features are sub-par or unnecessary. But the security features are top-notch and that’s the main reason to use this app anyway. Ignore the other features and you’ll be fine.
Avast Mobile Security (Free)
Avast has long been one of the best antivirus apps for Android. It’s an all-in-one solution that protects your device from threats you didn’t even know existed. Key features of the app include real-time malware blocking, manual malware scanning, clean Trojan removal, phishing protection, app permissions and availability in more than 20 languages. If you don’t trust 360, Avast should be your next choice.
If you’re concerned about security and privacy, then you really should think about moving to Linphone – the best way to make HD calls, both audio and video, in a way that’s completely secure from start to finish.
The engine and protocol are both open-source, which means anyone can audit the app behind the scenes at any time, so it’s unlikely that anything out of the ordinary is going on. It’s one of the best open-source communication apps. Linphone can also send text messages, photos and files with the same secure protocol.
If you’re not concerned with VoIP but have messaging security and privacy fears, then you should start using Telegram right away. It’s similar to WhatsApp but better. Telegram messages are stored in the cloud so they stay synchronized across all devices where the app is installed. And it’s not just for one-on-one communication – Telegram supports up to 5,000 users in group chats. Most importantly, it is safe: messages are encrypted, you can apply self-destruct timers, all of which are quick and easy to use.
Tracking and anti-theft apps
One of the best things about always having a smartphone with you is that you always have a way to interact with someone in case something goes wrong. SafeTrek takes this to the next level by turning your phone into a personal safety device.
Basically, if you feel unsafe, press and hold the SafeTrek button on the screen. When you release it, you will be asked to enter a PIN – and if you don’t, the local police will be immediately notified and sent to your GPS location.
Prey (Free, $5/mo)
The funny thing about smartphone security is that a lost phone can be worse than malware. Think about it: as soon as someone picks up your phone, they pretty much own everything on it.
One thing you can do is lock certain apps and services with a PIN but you’ll eventually want to restore your device, right? That’s where Prey comes into play. Prey allows you to find your device, send alert messages, and even remotely wipe the device (the latter is a paid feature).