These 3 Smartphone Apps Protect Your Confidential Data from Hackers

Yahoo just had a breach which affected 500 million users and their private data. Numerous hacks, leaks, and breaches have become everyday news.

This got me thinking:

  • How can I, as an everyday user of several platforms, devices, services, and storage options, find a way to be more secure when using apps and services of different companies?

I, like most of us, want to retain a certain amount of privacy. This means that I wouldn’t want others to gain access to my texts, my daily activities on the internet, or any of my several thousand photos. (We all remember that one in 2014 which rhymes with ‘The Happening,’ right?)

This applies to both companies (like Apple, Facebook, Google, etc.) as well as governments. The possibility of a hack is pretty high in many cases. At present, Evernote just released information of a hack as well. It is believed to have affected around 50 million users.

This simply proves that a solution other than cloud storage needs to be instituted.

Luckily, there are already a large number of different apps out there that let you gain control of your online behavior and storage possibilities.

This post will introduce you to three options in the following categories:

  1. Messaging
  2. Browser Usage
  3. Photo Storage

1. Messaging – Signal

signal-messenger
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Since WhatsApp changed its course from championing user privacy to sharing user data with Facebook, several apps have tried to set themselves up as the new standard including apps like Wickr, Gilph, and ChatSecure.

For getting started with online privacy, the mobile app Signal by Open Whisper Systems is a really good way to find an easy and manageable introduction into the world of privacy.

The endorsement by Edward Snowden is also worth mentioning.

Free and available for both iOS and Android, Signal lets its users send high-quality texts which are safe from watchful eyes through their end-to-end encryption as well as the ability to delete messages at specified intervals.

It even allows multi-platform usage, letting you move from mobile to stationary messaging by linking your app to a desktop client.

The downside of Signal is its dependency that everyone around you uses it as well, as you won’t be able to message friends who have not yet downloaded the app. This is not only restricted to the Signal app but is a problem with private messaging apps as a whole.

Converting friends and family to use Signal will, therefore, be a necessity, but it shouldn’t be too hard if major leaks keep happening every week as is currently the norm.

Signal is available through the App Store for iPhone as well as Google Play for Android.

2. Browser – Brave

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Another hot topic regarding online privacy is, of course, browser usage.

More specifically: Which browser should use if you want to get rid of the ever-looming danger of surveillance?

Some browsers store info about your activities online which could end up in the wrong hands of companies, governments, and hackers.

That’s why it is important to make use of a secure and private browser. By doing so, it allows for a good night’s sleep knowing that you’ve made life harder for those wanting to get ahold of your data.

Brave is a secure browser that comes with a free ad and tracking pixels blocker. 

Brave is currently only available on iPhone and other platforms (for free) and can be downloaded from here.

Before we get to #3…

Clouds have become a necessity.

Storage is an area which I think is often overlooked in regards to privacy. I have a need for my photos to remain within a sphere of privacy. As is standard today, most photos simply move to the cloud for storage. This happens because mobile phones can’t handle the huge amounts of data storage that is needed today.

Especially in this age of Instagram, memes, and everyday camera usage, clouds have become a necessity for the proper functioning of our daily lives, but we’ve seen them fall victim to scandalous hacks, leaks, and breaches.

Several people have been exposed: Celebrities as well as every-day citizens. But cloud usage hasn’t declined; part of that reason is due to its integration into mobile devices.

This is in part because of mobile pricing. Most people with a 16gb iPhone are desperately struggling for a means to free up storage space. Even the 32GB iPhone has trouble with providing enough storage. That makes the cloud a requisite that’s hard to avoid.

In that respect, I’ve found an app that serves my need of providing storage space as well as avoiding cloud usage.

3. Photo Storage – Planky

get-planky
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Planky is an offline, real-time photo compression tool.

It provides high-quality photos at low storage and claims to reduce file size of up to 95%. This basically translates to A LOT more photo storage available.

It requires no cloud connections as everything is stored locally on your own device. This means you save the cost of upgrading your cloud subscription when it exceeds the free limit.

You also avoid the thought of not knowing who is possibly using your data. And, if you want to share those precious photos, Planky uses a lot fewer data to upload and send photos. It has an easy-to-use interface, which makes a somewhat tedious and confusing task very user-friendly.

The only downside to this app is the photo batch size when compressing if you are in desperate need of storage. This issue does resolve itself, though, as more and more photos get compressed, batch size increases exponentially.

Planky is free for iPhone and iPad on the App Store. Unfortunately, it has no immediate solution for Android users.

These are three apps to help you get started with online privacy. There are tons of more apps out there, each with their ups and downs. A common denominator is that they’re trying to make you and your data safer in this world of technology.

If you have any tips, tricks, apps, or anything similar for staying private and secure on the internet, please feel free to share with me in the comments below.

Here are a few hand-picked articles that you should read  next:

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Authored By
A philisophy minor with a special interest in privacy, politics and technology as a means for democracy.

34 thoughts on “These 3 Smartphone Apps Protect Your Confidential Data from Hackers”

  1. Great information, i can say everybody has to follow these methods to protect their mobile data from hackers. Thanks Jesper..

    1. Thank you for your comment, Abinay! It is important to stay secure in this world of technology, and it can be a bit hard to figure out how. I hope this has helped you!

    1. And it comes with a free VPN, that’s what makes Aloha so easy to setup and use. Definitely try out Planky and Signal as well, they are wonderful apps.

    1. You should try out no. 3 as well if you’re interested in privacy. They are indeed very good for protecting your private data.

    1. Hi tom!
      Glad you liked it. Planky is really a great tool for storing tons of photos on your phone and avoid the cloud.
      You should try out the other two as well.

  2. Hi jeeper, very important article as you said it’s very important to stay secure in this world..Thanks you bro..

  3. Hi Jesper,
    As you have mentioned PLANKY is only available to Apple users, so can you suggest any android alternative to that. Thankyou for your valuable post.

    1. Hi Gsingh.
      I’m sorry, but I dont know if there are any apps like Planky available for android. What I can tell is that, according to Planky, there is an android app in the makings. Hopefully it will be out in the nearest future. I’ll keep this post updated if and when it launches.

  4. Hello JESPER HINZE,
    Thank you for the apps, last time i got hacked by all data was wiped.
    i will definitely install these apps.
    Thanks a lot

  5. Hi Jesper,

    I never heard Aloha browser, the appearance of Aloha is really good-looking and also it is support VPN and have a download manager, which is really cool. Thanks for sharing the best tool for smartphone.

    Thanks,
    Min

    1. Hi Min Yon
      Aloha is definitely a good tool, I use it a lot myself.
      Have you tried Planky or Signal yet? If not, you definitely should.

  6. I am a big fan of Aloha browser. This browser is a must have apps for those who is worried about their online privacy. Signal is also a good app but none of my friends are on Signal so I uninstalled that.

    I haven’t used Planky app, but it sounds interesting. I think I should give it a try.

    Thanks Jester for this article.

    1. Hi Rabin.
      I’m glad you liked the article.
      They are all very good tools for staying private online, especially if you’re new to all of this. It can be a bit hard to get the hang of, but these apps are a good introduction.
      Definitely try out Planky, I really recommend it.

  7. i’m waitiny for Aloha… i heard about Aloha but never use because i have Android…. so waiting and will try

  8. Hey J – thanks for sharing this great article. This is vital information and a topic that indeed deserves full attention. I have experienced my previous cloud being hacked so I am very sceptical if I should consider another commercial cloud solution for my photos/videos? Have not yet tried Planky, but it seems this app will do the job for keeping my photos/videos local and away from risky cloud solutions? Thanks again. K 🙂

    1. Hey Kelly.
      Unfortunately you are not the first whose cloud got hacked, and you probably wont be the last, so it is only good to be sceptical. That was what led me to write this article.
      The only cloud I would recommend is one called Tresorit, as it has a focus on privacy as well – I’ve been told that they have hired several hackers to try and gain access to their service, and none have yet to accomplish the task.
      With that said, it is safer to store your photos locally. That’s why I recommend Planky!
      I’m very glad that you liked my post, thank you!

  9. I’ve tried Planky before and its good for use
    Aloha is new to me…
    I’ll definitely try this one… sounds good app
    Thanks

  10. I’ve using aloha n I that’s working fine.thanks for the other two tools jesper specially planky.

    For people who don’t want to leave their default browser try to surf net combine with another VPN app “Snap VPN”😏

    1. Have you tried either Signal or Planky? If not, yo definitely should, they are quite useful tools!

      I hadn’t heard about Snap VPN, will check it out! Thank you.

  11. Over the years, the issue of privacy has become one of very big concern, like a situation where Yahoo had a very massive hack recently and could not even be nice enough to tell users to take proactive measures.

    I have used Aloha basically because of its VPN service, it is a nice browser. Sometimes i just use incognito mode on my chrome.

    I will try the other two apps to see how good they are. Greet Post, Keep up the shout out.

    1. Hey Benny!
      Privacy has truly become more and more important.
      You say that you use VPN, and sometimes just uses incognito. and I just want to let you know, that they are not at all the same which I hope you’re already aware of. Your browser history when using incognito is simply not stored on your device, but that’s about it. Your data is still ‘out-there’ being registered, just not by your computer.
      A VPN on the contrary blurs who is searching the web, so that it is harder to trace it back to you.

  12. Planky and Signal are good but for Aloha I can’t say until I use it. Moreover it is bundled with free VPN, and as far as I know you gotta be a customer or you are the customer. I personally use VPN service a lot but I don’t prefer the free versions.

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