Android has had some exciting new additions to its device line-up this year. From Google’s new Pixel phones to Kodak’s first move into the smartphone market, Android is continuing its dominance as a leading OS.
Android does, however, seem to have a security problem – even if its reputation isn’t entirely accurate, and especially compared to how people view iOS. This is one of the reasons Android is so hot on security, and why Google has made it a key feature of all Android apps thanks to its “Application Sandbox”. This means that even if malware is accidentally opened, it is forbidden to access any other apps on a device.
Android’s Adrian Ludwig recently revealed more about the software’s security features in a series of blog posts and during a talk at this year’s inaugural WIRED Security event.
And if you want to boost your device’s security even further, we round up the top Android apps to do just that below. Alternatively, if you have an iPhone or iPad, here are the best iOS apps for data protection.
If there’s one simple way to stay safe, it is to change your passwords, though it can get confusing remembering the different passwords to each account. 1Password does the hard work for you by remembering everything. All data is encrypted, so the app keeps the information safe and allows you to sign into your favourite sites with one click. Free
Applock is a secure Android-specific app which locks all your important apps up, including Facebook, Whatsapp, Gmail and Settings, to prevent unauthorised access to private data and guard privacy settings. Free
Find Your Phone
Should you ever lose your Android device, Find Your Phone is a new feature. By searching ‘find my phone’ on any Google browser, you can locate your phone, lock and call it, secure your account and leave a callback number on the screen for the person who finds it.
Google’s director of Android Security, Adrian Ludwig, explains how it works.
my Secure Mail
This universal email client allows people to manage an unlimited number of mail accounts from various providers. My Secure Mailkeeps all your emails in one place and ensures they are safe using encryption and password-protected sign ins. Free
If you’ve never used a VPN before, it is a way to keep all your online activity private by encrytping all the data coming in and out of the device and securing all internet traffic. The new NordVPN Android app re-routes and encrypts all internet traffic to make the connection private and secure. Free
The encrypted messaging and voice-calling app Signal is a sure-fire way to communicate safely on an Android device. It provides end-to-end encryption to secure all communications and the app can also verify the identity of who people are messaging, as well as the integrity of the channels they are using. Free
Similar to Signal, Tor Messenger is a safe and encrypted way to have private conversations. It’s a cross-platform chat app that is secure by default and sends all messages over Tor Network. The ChatSecure app allows you to send communications across Tor. Free