2016 has been the toughest year ever in online security, with multiple big-scale hacks throughout the year. To name just a few famous incidents of this year, over 100 million LinkedIn and 360 million MySpace accounts were breached, 15 million Iranian users of Telegram messaging app got their accounts hacked into, $80 million dollars were stolen by hackers from Bangladesh Bank, and US Democratic Party systems were hacked into during the election. Most recently, Yahoo reported its biggest hack in history with over one billion accounts compromised.
If big organizations with sophisticated security systems can be broken into, what about any ordinary iPhone user? All digital devices, if unprotected, become one of the easiest data breach targets for an average hacker. By hacking into iOS or any other device, criminals are able to access personal bank account data, credit card passwords, name, address, social media accounts and so on. In 2016, over a billion of personal records got accessed illegally.
When someone’s identity is stolen, their money could be taken off their checking account or credit card at any time. Worst of all, most victims of identity theft are left to take care of the debts incurred, and to deal with a ruined credit.
So how can users protect themselves and what will be the hottest security apps for iOS in 2017?
Signal is an encrypted messaging and voice calling app that provides end-to-end encryption to secure all communications. The app can also verify the identity of people one is messaging with and the integrity of the channel they are using. When texting with non-Signal users, one has an option to invite them to an encrypted conversation via Signal.
Tor Messenger is as an encrypted messenger created by the makers of Tor, the world’s most popular encrypted Internet browser, synonymous with “the dark web.” Tor Messenger is a cross-platform chat app that is secure by default and sends all messages over Tor Network. The app supports a good number of transport networks, such as IRC, Google Talk, Facebook Chat, Yahoo, and others, and enables Off-The-Record (OTR) messaging – a safe and encrypted way to have private conversations – over Tor’s network of computers for greater anonymity.
NordVPN (Virtual Private Network provider) is a must-consider encryption app. A VPN encrypts the data shared across the Internet, and is the best security mechanism to ensure the Internet traffic remains confidential. NordVPN has a reputation of focusing on security and having a zero logs policy, is fast and easy to use. The developers at NordVPN have launched a powerful new VPN app for iPhone that is also intuitive and good-looking. The new iOS app re-routes and encrypts all Internet traffic making the connection private and secured while using top of the line security protocolIKEv2/IPsec.
Norton Identity Safe gives you freedom from remembering passwords: it saves all user names and passwords on iPhone and iPad and syncs them across devices. Secure passwords can be created within the app. The app also allow for faster checkout as fill ins forms with the user¹s bank information.
The ZeroEmail App is a self-learning email app created to organize the inbox by relevance or importance. It has an original card-style format that allows for single swiping, making it quite fast and easy. Zero does not store messages and personal information on remote servers, meaning it all stays on the phone, so it¹s perfect for those who don¹t believe in storing their information on a cloud.
Keeply is a spy-level app for an average user. It stores a user’s private moments and data – pins, credit cards, notes, photos and videos – right on the phone. Keeply provides a Fake Pin feature, which is alternate password that the user can give to their nosy friends or family – when they enter it, the app shows an empty application. Face-down Lock, on the other hand, causes Keeply to close immediately when it’s placed face down. It can also take a photo of anyone who enters a wrong pin into the phone. Best of all: nothing ever leaves the phone.
Secret Calculator is another app for storing user’s private photos, videos, notes, contacts and other sensitive data behind an innocent-looking calculator app.
Avira Mobile Security is a must to find a lost phone or to make sure the phone hasn’t been compromised. It also scans address book to make sure if all contacts are safe, checks OS to ensure the system is updated, uses location tracking on up to five devices and more.
LockItUp app allows to simply lock a PC or Mac from anywhere by using iPhone. It’s all cloud-based, so there’s no need to be on the same Wi-Fi or network for it to work. The app runs in the background quietly and consumes very little CPU.
Best Phone Security Pro is an app that will ring an alarm as soon as someone unauthorized touches the device. The user can choose the lock option: Touch ID, pattern lock or passcode lock. You can even record your own alarm sound.
It’s becoming increasingly important to make sure that all digital devices, whether used privately or by company, are as secure as possible. Just as we protect our homes with locks and security systems, fielding potential intruders, we should make sure our devices are also properly protected especially because these days, most of the valuable information is stored online. Besides security and privacy apps, everyone should use common sense when sharing information on their devices, encrypt when using public Wi-Fi and always use strong passwords.