For most smartphone users, cybersecurity is often an afterthought. It takes seconds to download any app and most users simply don’t have the time or ability to look out for invasive apps on their phone. Instead of choosing between different apps based on cybersecurity, it’s best to just download apps that are known to be non-invasive.
In this post, we’ll cover 7 of the least invasive apps you can have on your smartphone. These apps will not collect personal data or install malicious code on your device. They are also designed to be as secure as possible, providing users with an extra layer of protection against security threats.
Signal is a secure messaging app that uses end-to-end encryption to protect your messages. This company was founded largely because social media companies often stored the private communications of their users. Security-minded people like journalists, government officials and activists opted to use Signal instead of mainstream platforms to ensure their communications remained private.
The app has a built-in feature that allows you to set a timer to automatically delete messages after they have been read or a certain amount of time has passed. This ensures that your messages remain private and are not stored or shared. If you’re looking for an alternative to mainstream social media platforms, text messaging and similar forms of mass communication, Signal is a great way to ensure your communications are only available to you.
DuckDuckGo is a search engine that values user privacy. The vast majority of internet users use Google for their searches and are unaware of how much Google tracks their data. The search engine is just as good as Google and it has over 100 million users per month. DuckDuckGo does not track users or store search history, making it a secure and private alternative to the more popular search engines.
You can easily start using DuckDuckGo by using their browser, downloading their app or using their extension. This is a great way to avoid companies like Google who track and sell your data to advertisers on their platform. In fact, 85% of sites have third-party trackers. This includes the vast majority of ecommerce, news and general websites on the internet. When you use DuckDuckGo for your searches, these tracking tools cannot farm and store your data. This is because DuckDuckGo does not store your search history, IP address or other data that can be used to identify you. As a result, companies cannot use your data to target you with personalized ads.
Telegram is one of the most popular and secure messaging apps in the world. It offers end-to-end encryption, meaning that messages are encrypted on the sender’s device and can only be decrypted by the recipient. One of its most attractive features is the self-destruct feature. This feature allows messages to be deleted after a certain period of time, making it an ideal choice for those who value privacy.
In addition to being a secure platform in general, Telegram also gives you the ability to add additional security settings. This includes features like:
- Secret chat: Secret chats can be enabled on Telegram and this ensures your conversations have end-to-end encryption. You’ll also be notified if anyone takes a screenshot of your conversation.
- Ability to hide your phone number: Messaging apps can be filled with spam. Telegram gives you the ability to hide your phone number. This can prevent your number being shared, forwarded or being spammed.
- Adding a passcode/lock: In addition to the other features, you can add a passcode or lock to your account. This gives you an extra layer of protection to ensure your privacy.
NordVPN is one of the most well-known brands in cybersecurity. It offers a variety of features to protect user data, such as military-grade encryption and a strict no-logs policy, which ensures that user data is never stored or shared. NordVPN also offers a wide range of servers in multiple countries, allowing users to access geo-restricted content from anywhere in the world.
The mobile app in particular is one of the least invasive apps on both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. It doesn’t track your web activity, store your IP, or store any files you download. The app also comes with additional cybersecurity features like:
- A dark web monitor
- Automatic kill switch
- DNS leak protection
- Next-generation encryption
- Firefox Focus
Firefox Focus is the privacy browser for Firefox. With Firefox Focus, you can have a dedicated privacy browser on your smartphone and this helps ensure your search data and web activity stays private. What makes Firefox unique is that you can easily remove your history, cookies and passwords. This makes it difficult for advertisers to track your data and follow you around in your search activities.
Firefox Focus is completely free and it gives you the ability to automatically block ads and other trackers. This gives you the power to protect your privacy and control your data without the need to pay for a subscription or special software. The browser is also faster than other browsers since it does not have to process any ads or trackers.
Email apps are one of the most valuable types of apps on smartphones. If an app can access your email, it can access all the information that is sent and received through that email account. ProtonMail is designed to provide a secure and private email experience by encrypting all data on their servers and using end-to-end encryption to ensure that only the intended recipient can read the emails. This makes it much easier to protect against common email attacks like phishing and ransomware.
ProtonMail helps protect your privacy by encrypting your data by default. This includes all parts of your email service like your calendar, file sharing, video prospecting tools and more. In addition to this, ProtonMail also offers their own VPN service that allows you to browse and communicate privately with your email. What makes ProtonMail different from other email providers is that they use Swiss privacy laws for your data. This gives you both the legal and technical backing to ensure your data remains yours. This is a great email service to use especially if you work in sensitive industries like healthcare which require HIPAA compliant software. You can download reports from ProtonMail to show how secure your email service is.
Password managers are notorious for being invasive, but 1Password provides password protection without storing and sharing your personal data. 1Password is one of the most secure password managers on the market due to its end-to-end encryption, two-factor authentication, and ability to generate strong, unique passwords. It also allows users to store their passwords and other sensitive information in a secure, encrypted vault, so their data is never exposed.
1Password complies with strict data regulatory guidelines like GDPR and CCPA. They are able to store your data and oftentimes they avoid collecting your data unless it’s required to store your passwords. Your data like passwords, credit card information and other identifiable data are stored safely in the cloud. No one can access your data like your IP address and usage data without your consent.
These 7 apps are a great start to add security and privacy to your mobile devices. In addition to using these apps, it’s vital to make sure you stop using apps that compromise your security. Some of the most popular apps that invade your privacy include the Facebook Messenger app, the Weather app and the Facebook mobile app. Deleting these apps and installing the apps mentioned above is a great way to start protecting your data and keeping your online activity safe. To learn more about secure web browsers you can also use, check out this blog post.