There are now more than 2.5 billion active Android devices. From Samsung and Huawei to Nokia and ZTE, the Google-owned operating system is the biggest in the world.
Unfortunately, this popularity makes Android phones a big target for cybercriminals. But many amazing apps can help you secure your smartphone. Check out the list below and then head over to the Google Play Store asap.
Why Your Phone is Vulnerable
Think about everything you do with your phone. You shop, browse social media, contact friends, make payments, and more. Criminals, marketers, advertisers, and so many others all want to get their hands on your data.
Unlike iOS, Android users don’t need to update the operating system on their phones. It means many still use operating system editions that are vulnerable to security risks. Combine that with a lack of cybersecurity awareness, and you get a recipe for a potential Android disaster.
1. Avast Mobile Security
With over 435 million users, Avast is a giant in the antivirus industry. Avast Mobile Security takes the security of desktop antivirus software to your Android phone.
And it’s way more than a virus scanner. It includes a firewall, call blockers, and anti-theft tools. It allows you to remotely lock or erase your Android data if your device gets lost or stolen.
Before, you would have had to pay to use Avast Mobile Security. But now it is free, though supported by ads. For a small fee, you can remove ads, and also get the ‘in-app locking feature.’ The latter will ask for a PIN before opening selected apps.
The easiest way to increase your online security is by taking care of your passwords. But remembering them all can be a challenge. Mainly if you’re using the complex passwords that many websites now require.
NordPass password manager does the heavy lifting for you. It remembers all your passwords for you and stores them all in one extremely secure (read: encrypted) place. Then you can sign in to all your favorite apps and websites with one click.
NordPass also has an automatic backup and sync feature (you can read more here) to make sure all your devices have the most up to date version of password preventing you from ever getting locked out.
Until a few years ago, encrypted messaging wasn’t the default on most messaging apps. It meant companies might have stored anything you sent or received on their servers and used it for a variety of purposes. Now, more messaging apps use encryption, but Telegram is the best.
It uses many security protocols to make sure all the messages you send are private. It also has other security features like “secret chat.” You cannot forward these messages, they self-destruct and never stay on cloud servers.
Nowadays, there are several great encrypted messaging apps. But what Telegram stands out for is that it’s also an excellent and fun-to-use app. You don’t sacrifice any convenience, functionality, or fun while improving your privacy.
4. Sophos Free Antivirus and Security
Everybody loves a free app. Sophos free antivirus app has won many awards for how effective it is. But because it’s free, it doesn’t mean you have to suffer through any advertisements. In fact, Sophos blocks content from potentially harmful sites instead.
Sophos also scans apps for malware and alerts you if they leak any sensitive information. You can also run the antivirus software in the background to check against the Sophos Database (they update it daily).
Bonus features include a useful QR scanner you can use to set up secure WiFi connections. It also has an authenticator for two-factor authentication. Did we mention that it’s free too?
Orbot is Tor for Android. It is a privacy-centered web browser that’s gained popularity in the last few years. It stops the most frequent tracking attempts that happen every time you open your internet browser. The Android version ports the great features of Tor software to your phone.
Some of its best features include:
- Truly private mobile browsing
- Blocks ads and trackers
- Private searches
6. Find My Device
Find My Device is a relatively new feature for Android. You need Android 8.0 or later to run it. If you ever lose your device, you can use Find My Device to locate it by searching “find my phone” on any Chrome browser.
Not only it helps to locate your phone but also to lock it, call it, and secure your account. You can create a callback number to put on the screen for the person who finds it. Take a few minutes to make sure it’s enabled on your phone.
7. CM Locker
When it comes to your lock screen, you can have both security and personalization. CM Locker helps you do it with unique privacy settings and anti-theft functionality. It also includes a variety of HD wallpapers and themes to make your lock screen pop.
Top features include:
- Pin and pattern lock support
- Customizable lock screen styles and themes
- Anti-theft alarms and intruder selfies so you can see who tried to gain unauthorized access to your device
- Customization for apps to receive lock screen notifications and instant access
- Shortcuts to apps and extra updates like weather, news, sports, and more
ProtonMail is the largest encrypted email service with millions of users worldwide. A few years ago, they raised $550,000 in a donation campaign to create a mobile version of their service. The app makes it super easy to send and receive secure emails.
ProtonMail has a free basic account, but it’s worth it to upgrade to the paid tier. For less than $5 a month, you can get all the basic features plus:
- 5 GB Storage
- 1000 messages per day
- Labels, custom filers, folders
- Send encrypted messages to external addresses
- Use a custom domain
- Five email aliases
- Priority customer support
CCleaner is a top-tier free security app available on Windows, Mac, and now Android. In the simplest terms, it deletes unnecessary temporary files that choke performance and take up space. For Android, it’s even further optimized for speed. It’s also an effective antivirus to prevent attacks before they occur.
You can use it to root out apps that are using too much phone memory or battery life. It also has the tools to uninstall many apps at the same time, making cleanup a breeze.
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