Making careless mistakes online can end up having real-world repercussions for your business or your personal life. It seems like malicious hackers are only increasingly intent on wreaking havoc on digital assets, so there’s an increasing amount of attention needed to be paid to how you communicate with others and go about business online.
Thankfully a number of helpful apps can step in to help make you more digitally secure. None of them will make you bulletproof but every little bit helps when it comes to staying safe online.
Wickr is a free app that makes use of high-level encryption to send self-destructing messages from one user to another. The best part is that it offers commercial-grade encryption in a user-friendly interface that’s intuitive enough for kids to use successfully.
LastPass is a utility that you can use on your mobile device or desktop to generate and securely store complicated passwords. Good privacy gets harder and harder to practice as the means to crack security grows in strength. In one afternoon, you can use LastPass’s features to generate brand new highly secure logins for all your accounts.
Signal is an app for making end-to-end encrypted voice calls, and it even works with the mobile phone number you already have. If you need to keep the contents of a phone conversation secret, consider having that conversation via Signal.
SpiderOak offers encrypted cloud storage. Any files you want to store on its servers are automatically encrypted, providing a type of “zero-knowledge privacy” that means you don’t need to be a computer genius to use it. You can get 2 GB of this storage for free, or 100 GB for $10 per month.
Onion Browser is a mobile app that connects you to the Tor network, commonly referred to as the Deep Web. Browsing the conventional internet via Onion Browser effectively anonymizes you online, always showing your location as coming from somewhere else. It’s popular amongst journalists and political activists who might want to send or receive sensitive data.
Ghostery is an app that helps you stay more anonymous and informed about what info people are trying to collect on you. When you use it, Ghostery will run through and call attention to all the various means companies are tracking you as you go from one web page to another. But it’s not just a finger-pointing tool — it will also help you remove yourself from many of these trackers.
The quicker you can start exercising some sense in how you communicate and behave online when it comes to your privacy, the better.