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5 apps to keep you safe online and your information secure

Your digital information is at risk. At any given time, someone could gain access to a variety of sensitive and personal data that can be used to harm you. This can include addresses, names, birth dates and anniversaries, financial information, credit card numbers, account names and passwords, email and much more.

It’s safe to assume nearly everything you do on the internet can be tracked and used for one purpose or another. But there are ways to protect yourself and your digital identity. There are a few apps out there that can help you keep you safe online as well as keep your information secure. We’re going to take a look at some of them now.

  1. The Vault

Dropbox and Google Drive are great, just like all the other cloud storage services. But are they really all that secure? The answer is yes and no, but none of that matters. If you really want to protect your data on any cloud service, you need to make sure it is encrypted.

The Vault is a secure document and data storage service that supports 256-bit AES encryption for all content. It’s also available cross-platform on desktop or mobile — via apps, but only MAC and iOS.

Many people use it to store password and login data for a variety of accounts, like a password manager. You can do this, but you don’t have to. It’s a data storage service like any other. The app is free to download and use, but you will need a subscription if you plan on storing a great deal of content and using it regularly.

  1. WP Redactor

WordPress is one of the most popular content management and blogging platforms on the internet. Websites from nearly every industry under the sun use WordPress, and some of those industries deal primarily in sensitive information that needs to be highly protected.

That’s why the WP Redactor plugin exists. You can redact or delete content based on a blacklist of terms. This will allow you to void out sensitive information like phone numbers, addresses and more, in the event something is mistakenly published or your site is hacked into.

Even when site administrators attempt to redact sensitive information themselves, electronic documents can be redacted improperly and the redacted information can still be found, even after the documents have been secured.

WP Redactor prevents against this, making it a good must-have plugin for professionals in the legal, political and other information-sensitive industries.

WP Redactor is open source and completely free to use.

  1. NordVPN

A VPN or virtual private network is a service that masks your IP address with another remote IP. Essentially, an IP address is like your home or physical address. Resourceful users could do a reverse lookup to find out where you are located and what you are doing on the internet, provided they know your IP.

A VPN, however, will assign you a temporary IP for a remote server, and, if someone were to track this info, they would only see the fake IP. It also prevents companies or individuals from tracking personal information about you, like what websites you visit, what you purchase and more.

NordVPN is a virtual private network app for iOS, Android, and computers (Mac, PC) that allows you to truly browse the internet anonymously. It doesn’t log browsing data and provides access to the IPs of over 500 servers in 49 different countries.

If you want to protect yourself, your data or what you are doing, a VPN is the way to go. You can learn more about VPNs here.

  1. Telegram

Sometimes, you want to have a private conversation with someone who cannot be viewed by anyone else. It doesn’t necessarily mean you are up to no good. For example, if you are talking about an extremely personal event, you don’t want others to know about.

Telegram is an app that allows you to chat with whoever you like, in complete and total privacy. It’s messaging client, for instance, includes “secret chats” protected by end-to-end encryption. This means only you and the person you send the message to can ever see the content.

It’s a multi-platform service, so you’re not confined to just mobile. This is important if you want to talk to someone who has another type of device or even doesn’t have a mobile.

The app is completely free to use, will always be free and is ad-free, as well.

  1. ProtonMail

We rely on email a lot these days. Email is used to communicate with others, recover accounts and passwords, access sensitive information and even confirm our identity. That’s why it’s extremely dangerous to leave your email content unprotected and unsecured. If someone were to gain access, they could easily wreak havoc on your life.

ProtonMail is a third-party email client that encrypts and protects any and all information accessed through it. But because a lot of people don’t use encrypted email clients, you need to have one to write and access these types of emails and that can put a wrench in your own security. Luckily, ProtonMail allows you to password protect regular emails that are sent to anyone not using an encrypted service.

All in all, it’s a great way to protect your sensitive emails and communication with others.

ProtonMail is available free and is supported cross-platform.


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— Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews is a technologically inclined writer whose work has appeared on Motherboard, MakeUseOf, Lifehacker and The Huffington Post. You can read more posts by Kayla on her blog, Productivity Bytes.


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