With the recent repeal of Internet privacy rules in the United States being officially put into force, online privacy is now a topical talking point in the country, with many consumers worried about how private their browsing habits actually are. The polarizing repeal signed by President Trump on Monday specifically revoked rules regulating broadband Internet service providers, but that isn't to say people using mobile data shouldn't be concerned about their privacy. Even if your wireless carrier is acting in good faith, mobile devices in general are susceptible to a variety of attacks that can potentially compromise your privacy, recent studies have shown. With that in mind, below you'll find the list of ten best Android apps designed to help you preserve your mobile privacy, listed in no particular order.
Signal Private Messenger
Many contemporary instant messaging apps offer encryption, but few have made their name for themselves by providing users with a simple way of securely communicating with their friends and acquaintances. Signal Private Messenger is one of those apps that has been around for many years but continues to lead the private communications segment by consistently offering new and reliable features that allow you to privately communicate with anyone you want.
Keepass2Android Password Safe
No amount of security measures can protect you from a weak password, and even using a single great password for every service puts you at risk in case any of the numerous services you're using get breached. That's a risk you don't want to take, but keeping track of dozens of passwords isn't easy, which is why a password manager is recommended. As it turns out, Keepass2Android Password Safe is one of the best such solutions on the market, and better yet – it's completely open source.
Private Zone-Applock&Hide pics
If you've ever found yourself in a situation in which you're reluctant to hand over your phone to someone because you don't want to give them access to every app and file available on your device, you may want to consider installing an app like Private Zone-Applock&Hide pics. This mobile tool will allow you to not only lock your apps behind a variety of authentication methods but is even capable of hiding your photos and videos, making it a useful solution for people looking for that extra level of privacy.
1Password – Password Manager
In case you're looking for a reliable password manager like the one mentioned above but are willing to trade its open source status for a wide variety of extra features, 1Password – Password Manager is one of the leading Android apps in this segment. Boasting a number of useful features like multi-account support and robust password management, 1Password is the ultimate password management tool for people who are fine with not being able to dig through the code of the app that's handling their sensitive information.
AppLock – Guard with LOCKit
While AppLock – Guard with LOCKit is mainly advertised as an app capable of locking your other apps and hiding your private photos and videos, there are other tools on the Google Play Store that do the same. However, this one stands out from the competition due to its broad range of additional features designed to help you protect your privacy, including the ability to disguise the unlock screen of your app and take selfies of intruders who are trying to unlock your apps. AppLock – Guard with LOCKit may be a bit too much for people who are only looking for a basic way to protect their privacy, but those extra careful users should certainly consider trying it out.
If your friends care about private communications and don't use Signal, chances are they use Telegram, an Android messenger app that's advertised as the fastest messaging app on the planet. In addition to encrypted communications and a simple user interface, this messaging solution also boasts support for multiple devices and has zero limits on the type, size, and amount of files you can privately share with your friends and anyone else.
Cloud storage solutions may be incredibly useful, but many popular cloud services require you to agree to rather ambiguous terms of service that don't necessarily guarantee your files won't be accessed by anyone else in any scenario. Due to that state of affairs, you can either manually encrypt your files before uploading them to the cloud or find a service that offers automatic end-to-end encryption and wouldn't be able to access the content of your files even if it tried to. As it turns out, Tresorit is one of those services, and it also happens to have a great Android app.
Private Browser-Proxy Browser
People serious about online privacy should start thinking about it from the moment they connect to the Internet, meaning they need a safe and reliable way to do so. If you're not particularly tech savvy and aren't interested in fiddling with mobile VPNs and proxies you're supposed to use in conjunction with your Android browser of choice, consider downloading an app like Private Browser that ships with all of those important privacy-oriented tools pre-installed.
Even local encryption can't do anything to protect your privacy if your Android device gets infected with malware that's spying on everything you do. Once you decrypt your sensitive files for local viewing, certain types of malware are able to read them in plain text just as you are, meaning you should make sure your device is completely free of any infections. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is one of the best Android apps out there that can keep your smartphone or tablet secured, so you should certainly consider installing it as a preventive measure for protecting your privacy.
ProtonMail – Encrypted Email
If you feel like your general mobile privacy is adequately protected but want to add that extra layer of security to particular communications channels, you can always opt to install an app like ProtonMail. As its name suggests, this Android app will provide you with an encrypted emailing platform that prevents anyone except your recipient(s) from reading the contents of your emails. If you're primarily researching mobile privacy because you want to protect your emails, look no further than ProtonMail.