The forums ran from 2008-2020 and are now closed and viewable here as an archive.

Home Forums Reply To:

mychel solinau
Best security and privacy apps for your phone and web browser
You spend so much of your life online – so shouldn’t you protect your data? Use these apps to build a secure wall around your browsing data – and your privacy.

How long do you spend online per day? The average American citizen spends 24 hours a week online – and the rest of the world isn’t far behind. In fact, a lot of it is far ahead. With this in mind, it’s worth asking yourself just how secure your data really is when you’re online. Most people don’t think much of this – maybe they change their passwords every now and then, and they have antivirus software installed on their desktop. In short, this is far from enough.

Securing your data
Using the web is like flying between different cities. You login from one airport, and your data is bounced like a plane to the servers of the website you’re visiting, which might be thousands of miles away. This connection is unencrypted, meaning that anyone with the right know-how can take a look at it. This could mean emails, bank statements, your web search history or even your medical records. Starting to sound a little worrying, isn’t it. Rest assured, web security is about a lot more than malware, hacking and the NSA…
There are many ways that you can secure your data while it’s flying around the world to different servers. One of the most effective is by using a VPN. This stands for Virtual Private Network and is used by many corporations and individuals to secure their data. It encrypts your data before it boards the plane, and then debunks it in the next server, meaning it’s impossible for anyone to clearly read your data – and almost as difficult for them to capture it in the first place.

Free and easy web security tools
VPN’s are one of the best ways to secure your online data, but they come at a cost. We’ll publish an article on the best VPN’s later, but right now, we want to introduce some free ways to up your security right now.
HTTPS Everywhere: This is an awesome add-on to your browser that provides security regardless of what website you visit. If you’re not familiar with what https actually is (although we’re sure you recognise it as those random letters at the beginning of most websites), https is a security feature that means the website you’re on is secure. If a website doesn’t have this then your data could be at risk.
HTTPS Everywhere ensures that every site you visit has a secure connection – it’s free and takes no more than a minute to install.
Disconnect: Another smart little browser add-on. Disconnect stops websites from tracking you, looking through your search history and data and using it to target you with ads. In the process, this actually makes your browser faster and more secure. The add-on is free and trusted – named “Favourite Privacy Tool” three years in a row by the New York Times. The premium version includes a VPN and more web security features.
Brave Browser: If you don’t want do go around the web installing add-ons, then find them all in one place with the Brave browser app. This innovative browser comes with HTTPS Everywhere built in, as well as with an ad blocker and tracker blocker. It also gives you the option to send “Do Not Track” requests to every website you visit, and its private tabs can be opened in Tor, giving you the most private browsing session you could ask for.
If you're interested in Android apps, click How you can get the best apk downloader for Android
LastPass: LastPass is a password manager – in short, that means it stores all your passwords and auto-fills them whenever you try to login anywhere. The add-on has its own master password which you should keep secure at all times. It can also generate passwords of massive complexity – and you don’t have to remember any of them. Having a password manager is one of the simplest and most effective ways of avoiding having your data stolen or your accounts hacked.

Simple security steps in real time
People often get so caught up on securing their connection and making complex passwords that they forget to cover some of their biggest weak spots: It’s much easier for someone to walk away with all your data if they can access your device in real time. Here are some essential steps to ensure that doesn’t happen:
Two-step verification for email: Most email platforms come with the option of two-step verification – and this is something you should have on at all times. If someone can gain access to your email account then they can simply enter your email into Facebook, or any other site you have an account on, select “forgot my password” and immediately receive a new one for your account. Your email is by far the most essential platform for you to keep secure.
With two-step verification someone can only gain access to your email if they have your phone. Beware, however, if you enter a different country and need to access you email account this can be a nightmare! Remember to turn it off if you’re travelling, or change the account number to your new SIM.
Phone password: This one is a little obvious, but considering what we mentioned above, if someone was to get your phone then they can access your email and do damage – but not if they can’t gain access in the first place. Don&rsquoS;t make it easy to crack – use a six digit password.
Secure browsing with a VPN
Unfortunately, we really don’t have time to go into VPNs in this article – they’ll require their own dedicated piece, which will come soon. In short, a VPN is a virtual private network – it works by incorporating several servers in different countries around the world and bouncing you between them – this means that websites you visit won’t know where – or who – you are. They can’t track you, and all your data will be completely encrypted, so they can’t see what you’re doing, even if they manage to find your data.
A VPN is one of the most secure tools for browsing – so secure, and so expensive for companies to create and run, that they’re never free. You’ll always have to pay a monthly or yearly fee to have a VPN, but the cost is usually very little – around $4 per month – and is totally worth it if you’re even the slightest bit concerned about your personal data – including bank transfers, emails and search history – being secure and private.
We do hope this article taught you a thing or two about how to be more secure online. Minus the VPN, everything we mentioned can be installed or completed together in under ten minutes, and it’ll make your browsing massively more private and secure. No excuses. Get to it.