When it comes to online security and privacy, are you sure you are fully protected?
When you share data on the web, it can be picked up by websites or even your Internet Service Provider (ISP) for research or advertising purposes. In order to avoid this, Mizpee previously listed several tools you can use to mask your online presence. Continuing from that discussion, let’s review some apps you can download to help you with your online mobile privacy.
Have you started using these apps yet?
A good start for online privacy is to secure a virtual private network (VPN), especially if you tend to use a public Wi-Fi. The VPN lets you browse websites without worrying about your ISP collecting data about you and your browsing activities. This is because the VPN works to encrypt your data and hide your IP address. The app NordVPN provides its users with a VPN for sensible pricing options.
If you want a privacy-centric web browser, you can go for Firefox Focus. It gives you tracking protection and content blocking, as well as other useful features. For instance, Engagdet wrote about the browser’s new iOS capability to auto-lock when it’s relegated to the background. The only way to unlock it is through the biometrics saved on your iPhone. Android users will also find that when they click a web link in another app to open on Focus, the browser app modifies its display to retain the original app’s appearance and style. The browser also comes with an “Erase” button on the search field for you to readily remove any data from your session.
ProtonMail is a free email service that encrypts every email you send or receive. With this protection, hackers are unable to intercept your emails. The app gives you the absolute privacy that not even the team behind ProtonMail can access your data. For comparison, Google has access to the content Gmail users have in their inboxes for advertising purposes. If you’re not comfortable with that arrangement, it’s best to stick with ProtonMail. As an added security feature, the app uses a secure remote password in order to protect user credentials. ProtonMail’s free offer includes 500 MB of storage for one email address.
Passwords are the first line of defense in any data protection scheme, which is why they are also high-value for hackers. If you use one password for all of your online accounts, it could spell trouble for you if cybercriminals get a hold of it. However, many people have trouble keeping track of different passwords for different accounts. Enter LastPass, a password manager app that remembers your passwords for you. All you need to do is create a master password to gain entry to the app.
Signal is a communications app that protects voice calls, video calls, text messages and chats with end-to-end encryption. Everything you send and receive using this app will be hard to intercept and decode. Signal also doesn’t store any user data, which means there is no danger of any information leaking out, and third party agencies can’t ask for it. For now, Signal is the best option if you want encrypted messaging.
Currently, there are a slew of more ambitious apps being developed to enhance user privacy. TechCrunch reported on the launch of Stealthy, a messaging app that leverages blockchain technology, originally created for cryptocurrency transactions for online security. Essentially a decentralized ledger system that keeps track of transactions and assets, the blockchain poses plenty of opportunities in the world of cybersecurity and privacy. In an article entitled ‘What is the Blockchain’ published on FXCM it explains that one of the main advantages to blockchain use is its transparency. The technology uses cryptography and timestamps for all its transactions. This information is spread across many different computers. So if anyone tries to alter particular data within the ledger, they won’t be able to successfully hack it without changing it on other computers. Because blockchain shows a lot of promise in terms of security, it is being researched for different applications, particularly for the financial services and sectors.