A few days ago we were talking about the public’s acquired taste for privacy which seems to apply to pretty much all things online, from social media networks to search engines. You are probably using a VPN already (if you’re not, here’s a great deal for you), but you can never be too careful.
That is why, listed below, you can find 8 apps that work wonders when it comes to adding an extra layer of security to your digital life. Best part? They are completely free!
Do Not Track Me
Do not Track Me, initially known as Do Not Track Plus is a free browser add-on that claims to stop over 600 companies and advertisers from tracking users online. It works with Chrome, Safari, Firefox and even the infamous Internet Explorer. What it actually does is block the services that would normally collect your data while online. Besides that, it masks your personal email address from advertisers and the like.
The name says it all! You can use it to mask your email directly from email form fields across the web. That means that besides having your email address kept safe from hackers, you will also get rid of those annoying spam messages once and for all. Pretty safe , I would say, but if you’re aiming for extra security for your credit card or phone, you’ll have to get out of your pocket $5/ month or $45/year.
With all the attention it got at the SXSW conference, I guess it’s pretty safe to say that Secret is not a secret anymore. What makes it special is that you are able to share your thoughts with your Facebook friends, and their connections, without actually knowing who is who and without them knowing who you are. You can also ask questions, or do some sort of anonymous surveys. The only thing is that, being restricted to your circle of friends and their friends, assumptions about users’ identity can be made quite easily.
Another proof that users got sick and tired of aligning to the trend of beach selfies and duckface group photos that overcrowd the most popular social networks at the moment, Whisper allows people who want to show their real self instead of the fake, carefully polished one, to communicate or post updates about almost anything. You are able to see updates from anyone near you, not only your contacts.
You can also choose a background photo for your message and your account is password protected, so if somebody highjacks your phone, they won’t be able to see any of your posts.
The only downside is that this is an app teenage girls seem to love, so expect a lot of drama and high school gossip.
Duck Duck Go
Duck Duck Go is a really well known search engine among privacy enthusiasts. It was all the rage a few years ago and then abruptly faded from the spot light, only to resurface once with the NSA scare.
The search engine prides itself on not collecting your personal information and not force-feeding you ads.
Here’s how the search result list looks compared to Google’s:
Duck Duck Go has a much cleaner interface, and while still a little rough around the edges, it promises a lot.
With a limit of 200 characters, Yik Yak imposed itself as an Anonymous Twitter. No handle is required, though you can set one from time to time just for fun, and you also have the possibility of turning your location on, sharing other people’s Yaks and commenting on them.
With Yik Yak, you have access to the thoughts of people in your area (some of which appear strange to say the least), or those from different groups. You can set it up to run on your Android or iOS.
Though not as popular as the other apps, it’s definitely worth a shot!
This one has been around for a while, and almost anyone is on it. You can make short videos or photos and then send them to your friends which will be able to see them for a few seconds, depending on your settings. After that, the materials will self-destroy and nobody will be able to hold you responsible for what you sent.
The only problem is that currently, there are a few apps, like SnapTrap, which promise to help you save snaps from other users. So take it with a pinch of salt!
Telegram gained popularity in February, this year, when WhatsApp crashed for several hours. It’s easy to understand why this happened, given that at first glance, it looks like an imitation made by a copycat company.
You shouldn’t let that fool you. Telegram is really fast, it promises privacy and security and even offered a $200.000 bounty to anyone who can hack it.
And just in case you want to be extra safe, you can initiate a secret chat which guarantees an end to end encryption, a self-destruct timer for the conversation that can be anywhere from a few seconds to a few weeks and makes it impossible to be forwarded.