When you Google Search the term security apps, you get a ton of antivirus and anti-malware app listings. Unfortunately, that’s a very narrow view of what’s out there. There are tons of apps that can boost your security. Most of them are fairly easy to use and don’t use a ton of resources. Here are the best security apps currently available on Android.
Price: Free / Optional donation
Applock is one of the more useful security apps. It works by locking down various apps. Once activated, you’ll have to enter a PIN in order to keep going. This is good for families with kids. Alternatively, it’s a good way to keep a nosy friend from goofing around your phone. Enterprising individuals can get around it with enough time. Still, employing lock screen security with this is a really good one-two punch for phone security. It’s free with advertising. You can donate to remove ads if you want to. You can also turn the ads off and use the light version of this for free.
DuckDuckGo Search and Stories
DuckDuckGo Search has made positive waves among the security and privacy crowd. It’s a search engine similar to Google, Bing, or Yahoo. However, its claim to fame is that it doesn’t track your search history. That means you don’t have to worry about a company looking at what you search for. The app works well enough. It has some ads, but they’re not bad. It’ll also compile some news for you if you’d like. It doesn’t get grouped in with security apps very often. However, it’s great for those who want to search in privacy.
Find My Device by Google
Find My Device by Google used to be Android Device Manager. The name changed. However, the app still does the same thing. It tracks the location of your phone. The app can also play sounds for easier finding. It can erase your device, show a message, and remotely lock your phone as well. There are other find my phone apps with more features. However, this one is entirely free with no advertising and no in-app purchases. That makes it a good option for security apps.
Firefox Focus is a privacy browser. It’s essentially an Android browser that is always in incognito mode. It doesn’t log your activities for long periods of time. You can delete them at a moment’s notice whenever you want. It can also remove trackers and advertising. That way websites can’t see you there. It’s one of the newer security apps. It also won’t block every single thing. The app is completely free with no in-app purchases. It’s definitely more private than most browsers.
GlassWire is one of the newer security apps. It lets you see what apps are consuming your data. You get a live graph that shows how much data your apps are consuming. Additionally, you’ll get alerts to let you know when a new app is sucking down some data. This is a great way to see how much data each of your apps is using. It’s also a great way to see any strange activity that may be happening in the background. Its main use is to make sure you don’t hit your data cap. Still, seeing a random app you don’t know about grabbing something from the web can be extremely telling.
Price: Free / $12 per year
LastPass is one of the best password manager apps out there. It lets you store site passwords, PINs, and other sensitive info for quick recall. It’s all hidden behind a master password of your choosing. It’s infinitely safer than just putting that info almost anywhere else. You can also pick up LastPass Authenticator for additional security. It’s powerful and it’s cross-platform. The free version should give you most features. The pro version adds some features, some syncing options, and more. It’s one of the must-try security apps out there. If LastPass isn’t doing it for you, we have our list of the best password manager apps list linked at the top of the page!
Resilio Sync lets you create your own cloud storage. The computer version turns your regular, everyday computer into a cloud storage server. You then use this app to access files. Think of it like Google Drive or Dropbox, except you know where the files are stored. This is great for more sensitive data. It’s also great for those who don’t trust online cloud storage, but still want the versatility of having it. The app is easy, even for beginners. It’s also entirely free. It’s one of the most underrated security apps.
Signal Private Messenger, Telegram, or WhatsApp
Android has a surprisingly good number of options for private messaging. Signal Private Messenger, Telegram, and WhatsApp are all excellent choices. Each service has end-to-end encrypted messaging, video calls, group messaging, and file sharing. From there, they differ in their feature sets. It’s really just a matter of finding the one that works for you. The challenge will be to get all of your friends and family on to one of these services. However, they’re all free so at least you won’t have to worry about that. Encrypted messaging apps like these make for excellent security apps as well.
Tor Project (three apps)
The Tor Project is probably one of the more obvious choices for security and privacy on almost any platform. Unfortunately, their Android apps aren’t as robust as their computer offerings, but they’re slowly getting there. For now, you have access to Orfox which is the Tor browser on Android (still in beta!) and Orbot which is a proxy app that helps other apps use Tor’s technology to remain anonymous. The browser is still under construction and anonymity can’t be guaranteed, but Orbot is definitely a solid app worth grabbing. The project also recently released Ooniprobe, an app that lets you see if your Internet is blocking your connection to some sites. These are all excellent security apps for those who are a little more advanced.
Price: Free / $7.99 per month / $49.99 per year
No security apps list would be complete without a VPN and we chose TunnelBear. TunnelBear lets you VPN into a variety of countries which effectively hides your IP address from the sites you’re using. It also features a no logging policy. That means your usage isn’t tracked by the company. VPNs also allow you to use public WiFi with more security and we like the little tunneling bear animations. The free version grants 500MB of browsing free each month. You can also get unlimited data for $6.99 per month or $49.99 per year if you pay up front. This is, of course, one of many VPNs. We have our best linked linked toward the top of the page.
If we missed any of the best security apps for Android, tell us about them in the comments!
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