Data Encryption Tips to Secure Your Smartphone
When it comes to identity theft, protecting your data and how it’s shared is more important than ever before. Unfortunately, many third-party apps have the potential to leak your data – but some apps are serious about keeping your private information safe using encryption.
Stay informed with what encryption is, how it works, and six top-notch apps to make sure your calls, texts, emails and more remain for your eyes only.
What Is Encryption?
Encryption is the process of encoding your data – scrambling it up so others can’t access it. Some websites feature encryption to protect your data automatically. Look for the lock icon, HTTPS or both in your URL bar to know your web browsing is being protected.
For more rigorous security measures, turn to data encryption apps to keep incoming and outgoing data secure.
Encrypting Your Incoming & Outgoing Messages
- Signal, an app beloved by journalists worldwide, is easy to use as your default messaging service. Since it connects via your phone number, you can use it for secure voice and video calling as well.
- WhatsApp is one of the most reliable encrypted messaging services available. It provides end-to-end encryption of voice and video calls, text and video messages, photos and even PDFs.
Tip: What level of encryption to look for
End-to-end encryption essentially means only you and the intended recipient(s) can access your communications. It’s some of the most sophisticated encryption technology available to most of us.
There’s also the question of “bits.” You may have seen terms like 128 or 256-bit encryption. This refers to the length of the algorithmic key used to encrypt communications. The higher the number, the harder an encryption is to crack – by orders of magnitude.
- CoverMe encrypts your calls and texts and provides a private vault for you to lock away private photos, files, passwords and anything else you want to keep away from prying eyes. You can also add a private second line to keep your personal phone number hidden.
- ProtonMail provides end-to-end data encryption between users of its secure platform – so nobody knows your business but you.
Encrypting Your Web-Browsing
- Hotspot Shield is a VPN app that provides enhanced security while web-browsing on an insecure network or public Wi-Fi, so your web activity remains anonymous and untracked.
- Betternet is another powerful VPN that encrypts your internet connection and protects you from online scams and malware. That means you can continue your online shopping and on-the-go video streaming with renewed peace of mind.
Tip: Don’t forget the basics
Remember, even the best encryption technology can’t make up for basic security lapses. Lock your phone with a passcode (and not something common like 1234 or 0000), and change your account passwords frequently. As with encryption keys, longer, more complex passwords are more secure.
Want to learn more about online security and data encryption? Read about how technology is improving smartphone security.