In this post I will summarize some of the mobile apps that I have chosen as part of my strategy for a more secure and private communications platform. I have reviewed several of these in previous posts, however I am frequently asked for recommendations and a list of what my current set up consists of. Of course, the basis for privacy with a mobile phone starts with purchasing your phone, and then setting up a prepaid account with the provider of your choice. My thoughts on the initial purchase and set up were discussed here. I do not share or even use the phone number that was assigned to my phone by my carrier. I utilize VOIP numbers for all of my calls, which I believe affords the user many benefits. Once you have taken care of that hurdle, there are many choices for apps that enhance your calling needs, protect your personal information, and allow you operate in a more secure mobile environment. Here are some of the cornerstones in my set up.
Private Internet Access (PIA) is my VPN of choice on both my computer and mobile phone. This is a paid VPN service which costs about $3 per month and is paid for annually. There are many choices for a VPN and I have used many of them. PIA has found its way into my strategy because they are fast, reliable, and I enjoy that they do not keep logs of your activity and they offer an option to pay anonymously with many types of gift cards. Full disclosure; I am an affiliate of PIA because I believe they offer privacy conscious individuals a great service. For more information about how to use PIA on your Android device, go here. For iOS devices see this review. A representative from PIA was recently interviewed on the podcast which can be found here. And finally, for a guide on how PIA works in general, please see this information at their website.
Protonmail is my choice for secure, encrypted email. You can set up a free account here to begin using them and also download the app for your phone (iOS or Android). The founder of Protonmail, Andy Yen, was interviewed on the podcast recently and if you’d like to hear more about the company and their vision, listen to that eposide here. Also, for a discussion on email strategies in general, this episode has a ton of useful information.
Sudo is currently only available for iOS users, but the company has promised an app for Android and a desktop client will be coming soon. I reviewed this app when it first became available here, and it has become part of my strategy for the huge privacy benefits that is provides. Being able to create and manage up to nine different identities is a lot of fun and very useful when compartmentalizing your strategy for privacy. Another review can be seen here, and you can listen to an interview with the company’s CEO here.
I use Signal for personal or sensitive communication with people who are also privacy conscious. There is an iOS and Andriod app available, and I have previously reviewed this app here. The call quality for voice and video is excellent and best of all the content of your communications is encrypted end to end.
Wire is another encrypted calling option I have on my phone because having additional options is always a good idea. Again, voice and video call quality is excellent with this app. A review of Wire can be found here and I encourage you to also download the desktop client as well for use on your computer.
Snow Haze is a great choice for a more secure and private mobile web browser. The browser allows the user really granular control which is something I appreciate. An excellent review can be seen here. The SnowHaze iOS browser is available in the App Store for $2.99.
Lastpass is an essential app that I wouldn’t ever want to be without. There are many good password managers available and it is important to have one in order to securely organize your digital life. A great discussion on several options for password managers can be found here.
Hopefully you will discover how these apps can enhance your setup and feel free to comment if you find something else that you want me to test out. For additional information and suggestions, check out The iPhone vs Android debate (HERE). One more thing, don’t forget to adjust your phone settings for optimal privacy & security by following Justin Carroll’s iOS Guide here.