Seeing how most people store various types of sensitive information on their smartphones, keeping those devices safe is crucial.
Android devices can have vulnerabilities right out of the box. Users themselves can also expose them to risks, by opening scam emails, clicking on suspicious links, etc. Simply being connected to the internet poses threats to smartphones, and the only sure way of keeping them safe is through security apps.
So, let’s have a closer look at the five must-have apps that are designed to keep Android smartphones protected from various types of cyber threats.
1. Antivirus Apps
Antivirus software isn’t only for PCs. And keeping a smartphone secure means installing the best antivirus apps.
They’re primarily designed to keep the phone safe from viruses, Trojans, spyware, ransomware, and other threats. They not only detect those threats but remove them from the devices as well. Most antivirus apps have the feature of blocking access to spam websites, and they offer real-time protection.
The only issue here is that real-time protection tends to drain the battery. But users can usually opt out of this. However, if they want to ensure better cybersecurity, they’d need to scan their device more frequently.
Even with the best app, however, it’s still important for users to be cautious online. Just as new versions of apps are frequently launched, so are the new versions of malicious programs, and no antivirus app can guarantee to catch all of them.
VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is an absolute must for all Android devices. Chiefly, a VPN is used for creating a secure connection to a network, be it public or private.
It encrypts and hides the connection between the device and the network so that no one can intercept it and monitor the user’s activity.
An added benefit is that VPNs can allow users to bypass internet censorship, hiding their internet activity not only from hackers and intruders but also from internet providers themselves.
Nord VPN is the VPN app that Apkwhale Recommends.
All this begs the question: Are VPNs legal? The short answer would be yes, VPNs are legal, for the most part at least. Some countries have placed certain restrictions and bans, however. Still, in most places around the world, using a VPN is perfectly legal.
3. Secure Messaging App
Encrypting and securing text messages on Android devices is important for several different reasons. SMS messages have no encryption and can easily be read by mobile carriers, governments, and even low-skilled hackers.
This means that users relying on SMS for two-factor authentication are at risk of someone stealing their codes and thus compromising their online accounts.
Installing a secure messaging app ensures better privacy. It’s important to choose carefully, however. For some apps to work, they need both the sender and the recipient to have it; others require just one user to have it. The best secure messaging apps will offer end-to-end encryption, even if just one person has the app installed.
4. Password Manager
The average user has an account on almost nine social media platforms. Most people also have online banking, gaming accounts, etc. Ideally, each account would have its own strong and unique password.
Recycling old passwords, or using a single password for multiple accounts, brings many dangers. If one account is compromised, all of them are.
To ensure better password protection, users should rely on password manager apps. They serve to store all important passwords and keep them secure under a single master pass. Most of them can help create new passwords as well. They generate a random string of numbers, letters, and characters that’s impossible to guess.
With a password manager, the user should simply remember a single master password to access all the others.
5. App Permissions Manager
The problem with most apps on Google Play is that they cannot be installed unless the user gives certain permissions.
Some of those permissions are essential for the app to function properly, like access to SMS messages for secure messaging apps. But others aren’t necessary and are simply required so that the app publisher can gather data about the users.
This is where app permissions managers come in handy. They revoke the permissions that aren’t necessary, offering better privacy and security.
These five apps will help to keep any Android smartphone safe and are essential for anyone concerned about their online privacy and security.