Best Android apps for privacy protection and security

by: Paul NuñalJuly 2, 2012
5 49 19

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.

  • Jeremy Ahn

    Did you forget about Cerberus? Look it up, it’s an extremely powerful app with countless amounts of features for tracking a lost or stolen phone.

    • Joane Morgan

      I use Pure VPN android app for protection from cyber crime and WiFi Hotspots. Its a great app for online security.

  • MasterMuffin

    Lookout sucks…. they did a anti-virus test and lookout sucked really bad, it wasn’t even near the top 10, all those anti-viruses that are in this page suck, what happened AA? avast is the best there is and it’s free, it was n.1 in the anti-virus test cause it found every troijan and malware etc. (lookout let through many troijans and malware) and also other free AV that isn’t here and it’s better than these, ZONER. but avast is the ultimate phone protector and it’s the only AV that offers firewall (foor root users only). So, download avast and zoner DON’T DOWNLOAD those that AA thinks are the best!! just wondering what has happened to AA……

    • Makes one wonder if perhaps the vendors are paying for the reviews to be done?

      • MasterMuffin

        Yeah, I was thinking about that too….. :(

  • sleepwalk

    Avast is much better than all off these!!!!!!

    • I agree! :-) Avast is an anti-virus and anti-theft software with lots of cool features. It might deserve its own article here. :-)

  • Again no mention made of TrustCo; has mucho in terms of positive ratings on any of the stores I’ve seen it in. How come no mention?

  • Mei

    I used to use LBE Privacy Guard when my device was root. It’s great. It can block any application and narrow what it can access (such as contacts, sms, etc).

  • Issac
  • brad

    Check out Private Line, it’s one of the most creative uses of mobile apps for privacy that I’ve seen.

  • Ken

    I’ve just installed LBE Security Guard on my phone (Galaxy Nexus, JellyBeans). Now my phone is totally unusable. It keeps on re-booting, and doesn’t stay active long enough for me to get rid of this virus. Yes, a virus. Any program that messes with your system that badly is called a virus. Don’t touch this program!

    • Ken

      After fighting with this thing for about an hour, it came down to speed. After removing the battery, re-inserting, I would re-boot. For the time it showed me the screen to enter the code, I had about 10 seconds: enter code, then the screen security, then press the apps icon, then scroll to the correct screen of apps, access the app, drag it to the uninstall icon, press OK, when asked if I was sure I wanted to uninstall, and then still have time for the thing to uninstall.

      Used my best gaming skills (not so hot), and finally got a screen headed “” – “Uninstall unsuccessful” But it must have done it a split-second after, because, joy of joy, this evil program is finally off my phone. I took a screen shot of that final screen to keep as a reminder and a warning to me in the future.

      • kchannel9

        I just went through this same hell. I had to use xda-developers advice on using ADB shell to remove the with the phone in recovery mode…..shudder….stay clear of this app if you aren’t on stock Gingerbread, which is where I was using it successfully until now!

    • Niki

      Wow, Thanks your comments… Iobit Applock, LEO Privacy and applock… I had used them all, well prefer LEO Privacy better, if you have any other applocks to recommend, please leave message and give some comments! Thanks again!

  • Sydney

    I use Clutch Mobile Security. It has everything these apps have (AV, App Locking, Locator) — all in one app!

  • Anonymous Coward

    Excuse me: real privacy is not to achive without rooting a device. So all that reviews are somewhat moot.

    Lets perform a little test about how LBE works on a rooted device with installed/patched (yes sir – without this no real privacy on your smartphone) PDroid.

    Installed LBE checks following parameters:
    – Device ID
    – Phone Number
    – Simcard Serial
    – Subscriber ID
    – Incoming Call Number ( that one just to display the incoming call – so no real concern there)
    – SIM Info
    – Network Info

    great eh…?

    Now, LBE on LBE itself:

    – Phone ID

    and that was it…

    What YOU gonna make out of this little test? Don’t get me started about the rest of that review…

    With PDroid you’re able to ramdomize all parameters at your leisure…

  • LBE is not compatible with note 2 on 4.1.2 you will be stuck in a perpetual loop if you give it access to the root and only option out of it is to factory reset

  • aditi

    I think you missed it!I would like to share my experience of privacy app lock i.e. Leo Privacy app lock.Today mobile has become a personal asset and no one would love to share his/her personal information’s with others. So if you are planning to get an app which will help you lock all your personal data you are on a right track. LEO Privacy – Applock, Hide which is one of the best app to hide your personal data and currently even I am using the same. It is very handy and easy to use.
    Here is a step by step tutorials to install and run LEO Privacy – Applock, Hide.
    1. Download LEO Privacy – Applock, Hide from play store.
    2 set the desire pattern that you wish to keep.
    3 Go on App lock option on the main screen and lock the apps that you want to just by clicking on the lock sign beside that app.
    4 same way you can lock your videos and images by clicking on hide videos and hide image option on main screen of the app and add your video’s or images respectively and just click on hide now option on the top.

  • min min

    it looks like that all of these apps are amazing. I will have a try one by one. And I would like to recommend another amazing app, it is LEO Privacy. I’m a businessman, I always receive some harass calls, with LEO Privacy I can put unwanted calls into the blacklist, and detect and block harass calls with harassment

  • ran ran

    why there is no LEO Privacy? you forget it, dear. Seriously, LEO Privacy is perfect. All for free, LEO Privacy can check to see if your phone is safe. It can also put a lock on apps and a chosen cover like a fake “LEO Privacy isn’t working” with a secret touch to take it away. Plus, it can take a picture of the person taking the phone if they get the password wrong between 1 and 5 times (you choose), still much more! Very simple to use too. Very recommended. There’s still so much more!!!!