Best Android apps for privacy protection and security

July 2, 2012
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UPDATE New Article: Best Android Antivirus Apps

Privacy has always been an issue, even long before the Android platform was invented. Since time immemorial, people have always been trying to protect their privacy and personal data from both public and private threats. As technology grows each day, so do the number of scams, thefts, hacks, and malicious attacks. Smartphones, being bearers of your personal data, are also delicious targets for privacy intrusions.

A lot of Android apps exist to help secure your phone and safeguard your privacy.  In this post, we feature some of the best apps for securing your phone and protecting your privacy.

Lookout Mobile Security

One of the most popular security applications is Lookout Mobile Security. The app features all the basic smartphone protection methods, absolutely free of charge, with more available options if you buy the premium version. Lookout will perform a full scan on your phone for malicious apps and will automatically back up your data. In case you’ve lost your phone, Lookout will help you track you device.

Another advantage of buying the premium version is that you will also get Lookout’s Secure Browsing feature that protects your phone from virus or malicious sites that intend to get around your phone’s security. The premium version, however, will need a subscription plan of US$3.00 per month. If you’re concerned about securing your personal data from prying eyes, then Lookout Mobile Security might just help you in filling those security loopholes.

 

 

Webroot Security and Antivirus

Webroot Security and Antivirus offers a unique package that most big-name antivirus companies failed to include in their features. Just like Lookout, Webroot Mobile Security offers a subscription package to users who avail of their premium service, which includes features for completely wiping all data from the subscriber’s phone.  It also includes an App Inspector that functions and behaves much like Privacy Inspector. By using the app’s web portal, users can track down their phone in case it is missing or stolen.

Other features of Webroot include secure web browsing that automatically scans web links and URLs to block phishing and other malicious sites that may be harmful to your phone. The app also includes remote access, SIM card lock, device lock and wipe, SMS blocking, and an antivirus tool that continuously scans and monitors your phone.  If you are looking for security on your phone, then Web Root Security and Antivirus is a great choice.

 

 

NQ Mobile Security and Antivirus

Here’s an interesting application that is not just an ordinary virus scanner but also serves as a baseline of defense from malware and other intrusions. NQ Mobile Security will back up your contacts so you can always recover them on a separate device. It will also track how much data you are using so you won’t go over the bar with your data plan.

On top of that, it lets you manage your applications, optimize your phone to run efficiently, manage your network, backup and restore, and monitors your privacy protection. NetQin Mobile Security is packed with lots of features that protect your phone, and anyone who has a sluggish phone can take advantage of the app’s special features. Overall, NetQin Mobile Security is a wonderful app to secure your personal data.

 

 

Norton Mobile Security Lite

Norton Mobile Security Lite offers both anti-theft and antivirus features that will certainly keep your privacy intact and away from prying eyes. One of the most well-known names when it comes to antivirus software, Norton Mobile Security Lite for Android devices still lives up to its name from its older brother. The lite version offers free anti-malware protection that eliminates viruses and malware before they start infecting your phone.

The app is also easy to use and after users have finished downloading the application, it will automatically set itself up in just a few taps. Even better, it features anti-theft and anti-loss protection that allows users to locate their phone remotely and even lock and wipe their phone data. Another feature worth mentioning is the Web Protection feature that protects your personal information and blocks malicious websites and cybercriminals trying to hack into your phone.

 

 

SeekDroid AntiTheft and Security

If you are looking for something simple yet deadly effective in keeping your phone’s data secured then SeekDroid is all you need. Once you sign up for an account, SeekDroid will automatically hide itself to avoid detection from applications. In case your phone gets lost or stolen, just log into the SeekDroid website and from there you can track down your phone’s location.

Aside from locating your phone, it also lets you keep track of the calling activities of the person who found your phone. You can also remotely wipe your phone if you think that your security is compromised.  Other features that SeekDroid includes are tracking your device using breadcrumbs, an audible alarm, text message support, and retrieving SIM ID and IMEI. SeekDroid is available on the Google Play Store for a small fee of US$2.99.

 

 

Plan B

Here’s an interesting application that will help you save your phone from potential thieves. Your best chance of securing your phone is to remotely install Plan B from Lookout. Once the app is installed using the Web-based Android market, Plan B will automatically work and send users email alerts with regards to their phone’s approximate location. The app uses GPS locations and will constantly update you with information every 10 minutes.

Each location update will be emailed to the phone owner, with accuracy of just a few meters. Just recently, the app proved its worth when it helped Jon Barrow, an Ars Technica writer who lost his phone in a taxicab. He installed the application remotely and managed to locate and recover his lost phone shortly after. What’s even more amazing is that Plan B is absolutely free to download from the Google Play Store.

 

 

WaveSecure Mobile Security

WaveSecure Mobile Security from McAfee offers users many security and privacy options for their phone. Unlike its competitors that are offering their applications for free, WaveSecure on the other hand requires a US$20.00 yearly subscription fee to use all of the services it has. Like Norton, WaveSecure will give users the option to wipe and lock down their phone automatically.

However, the app doesn’t do a clean scan for malware; instead, it backs your phone data and allows you to restore it using another device. In case your phone gets stolen or dies, users can simply restore their files easily. In case you fear that the thief will eventually uninstall the application, then you can install WaveSecure Uninstall Protection that prevents any user from uninstalling the app without first entering a unique password.

 

 

LBE Privacy Guard

Want to protect your privacy? Then all you need is LBE Privacy Guard, a powerful privacy protection tool that is tailored specially for the Android platform. The app features state-of-the-art API interception technology that provides enhancements to the Android permissions system. The only catch is that LBE Privacy Guard requires you to have a rooted phone. If you don’t, then it is pretty much useless.

LBE Privacy Guard lets users protect their applications by controlling each application when accessing important data. Not only that, it also blocks malicious operations such as trojans and malware. The app can also block network traffic even if you don’t have an unlimited data plan. This is definitely an application that you don’t want to miss out on. Try it today, absolutely free of charge.

 

 

Gallery Lock

Hide your pictures and videos with Gallery Lock. Chosen as one of the best applications by Times Magazine, Gallery Lock does everything to carefully hide away your photos and videos from unwanted eyes. From the name itself, Gallery Lock is a managing tool that lets you hide your gallery photos and videos individually when you want a little bit of privacy.

The management options of Gallery Lock allow sorting of individual folders, a stealth mode that hides the app’s icon, and protecting your multimedia files with a pattern lock. Gallery Lock also features a beautiful user interface that is easy to navigate.

 

 

App Defender

App Defender is a simple locking application that prevents chosen applications from running without explicit permission, thus protecting your privacy. Whenever you start a protected application, App Defender always asks for a password so other people using your phone cannot get information such as browser history, emails, and personal data.

For tighter security, you can also set a specific passcode for every application. Every time a wrong passcode is entered, the app will show you the number of failed attempts, so you’ll be notified that someone attempted to release the lock on your phone.

 

 

Lock down your phone against malicious sites, malware, and prying eyes with these apps. If your phone gets stolen, easily locate it or wipe your data to protect yourself against thieves abusing your personal information.

Which one of these security and privacy apps do you have on your phone? If your favorite privacy protection app didn’t make it to our list, let us know what it is by leaving us a comment below.

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