20 Essential Apps to Protect Bloggers Privacy Online 2020
It’s your duty to choose the best apps to protect your privacy online as most companies are fighting to gather and harvest your private data. Almost all the websites you visit online, the apps you use, and the services you register to store at least some of your data and online activities.

Most of the information they gather is used for improving their services, but some companies sell the information they collect from users to third-parties. And not everyone has a good plan for your personal information. It can often get misused or, worst, it can fall in the hands of cybercriminals who will use this data for fraudulent activities and even for identity theft.
In a world where you can’t completely trust companies to protect your information, the responsibility of protecting your privacy online falls in your hands.
We previously talked about what are the best tips to protect your privacy online.
No one is safe over the internet. Not to mention, nothing you do over the internet is private unless you take some cautions when you connect. The browsers you’re using, the websites you visit, the apps – all of them keep track of your online activity one way or another.

Some of the information online services collect about your online behavior is used to target you with specific advertisements based on your browsing habits. But this information is also often exploited maliciously.

Online privacy matters because the more private information you expose over the internet, the more prone you are to becoming the victim of a hacker attack. Online attacks are not something to overlook as you can end up by having your private files deleted, stolen, and worst, the money from your bank account missing.

In this post, you’ll find the best internet privacy tips to regain your online privacy for a secure online experience.

1. Know what are the risks

The internet is so huge that you may feel there is no way an attacker will target you if you don’t step on anybody’s toes. In reality, there are lots of ways you can get hacked, and while an attack can come from someone you personally, hackers don’t always target specific people.
Knowing what the risks are when you’re connected to the internet will give you a better understanding of how to protect your privacy online. Hackers can be sneaky, and common attacks such as phishing can be challenging to spot. 

2. Social media privacy settings

Social media platforms collect a lot of data about their users. Their main goal is to offer users a personalized experience to better their services, but this also weakens your privacy on the internet. For example, Facebook knows more about you than you may think if you have the default privacy settings enabled. Things from all the places you’ve connected from (meaning all the places if you check your Facebook regularly) to even how many messages you’ve sent and to whom (SMS messages, not those in the Messenger app).

On most social media platforms, you can choose what kinds of information you allow them to collect about you. And the first step to keep yourself private on the internet is to review your privacy settings on each social platform you use and set them to collect as few data as possible. Also, make sure you don’t share private info with strangers.

You can learn more about how to strengthen your privacy on Facebook by going to Settings>Privacy Settings and access the Privacy Basics knowledgebase.

3. Don’t store sensitive data on public storage

While cloud storage services, such as Google Drive or Dropbox, are extremely helpful because you can access the files you upload from any device, they can also put your private information at risk.

You should never save sensitive data, such as documents with accounts and passwords credentials, bank information, or any other private information on public storage services. If you must save such data, make sure you do it in an encrypted archive.

4. Encrypt your files

An important part of how to protect internet privacy is to add an extra layer of protection to your personal files. You can do this by encrypting your files.

What does this mean? It means no one has access to your files without decrypting them first, which is a challenging activity. When your files are encrypted, the attacker doesn’t have access to them even if he manages to get into your computer.

You can encrypt your files by using an encryption software such as GnuPG. The process is a bit time consuming, but it’s worth it.

5. Keep backups

There are different types of malware that can manage their ways into your computer. Some malware can delete or alter your private files. A common type of attack, known as ransomware, is when an attacker gets access to your computer through malware and locks your files asking for a ransom to give you back the access. To get back your files, you have to pay the monetary compensation and, even then, you don’t have any guarantee you’ll receive your access back.

To avoid losing your files because of a hacker attack, you should always keep your important files backed up in multiple places. The best place to back up your data is an offline storage such as an external hard drive. Attackers can’t reach a device that’s not connected to the internet and your files will be safe.

6. Avoid being tracked

Protecting your privacy online means not leaving many traces that can be followed. Nowadays, all the websites you visit track your online behavior one way or another, mostly so they can further target you with unwanted advertisements.

Targeted advertisements are not necessarily a bad thing because you can’t totally run away from ads anyway. The problem is you allow websites to keep a record of your browsing history which is against protecting your privacy online. You don’t exactly know what they do with the data they collect, and they can sell them to third parties or even use them maliciously.

To avoid being tracked online, you should review the privacy setting in your browsers to not allow them to log your location. Also, a good practice is to disable the cookies. Be careful what permissions you give to the websites you access. Usually, websites ask for your permission to use your location through pop-ups, and if you live in a European country, websites are now required to ask for your permission to use cookies.

7. Use a secure browser

Some browsers are most secure than others. And some don’t offer any privacy at all while some are designed for a private internet browsing. There’s a difference between a secure browser and a private one. The best example here is Google Chrome. This browser is extremely secure, but it offers no privacy as it collects lots of data about you.
It’s best to use a browser that will give you both security and privacy when surfing online. A great example of one of the best anonymous browsers is Tor. But there are various privacy browsers out there you can take into consideration.
We put together a list of the best browsers for security and privacy. Take a look and see which one is the best for your needs.

8. Install add-ons to strengthen your online privacy and security

Some browsers, such as Chrome and Firefox, allow the installation of add-ons. And there are a couple of add-ons that will protect your online privacy and security on such browsers.

A couple of great add-ons examples are HTTPS Everywhere, Adblock, Privacy Badger, Cookie Autodelete, Decentraleyes, uMatrix, NoScript.

Now don’t go running into installing all the add-ons you can find as too many add-ons will make your browser more vulnerable to malware. Also, some add-ons can have disguised malware themselves, so take caution.

9. Switch to an encrypted email service

If a hacker gets access to your email address, he will be able to read all your email exchanges. This can pose a real danger especially if you manage business work or other important duties over emails.

To make sure your emails email private, you can use a dedicated software designed to encrypt your emails. Two examples of software that do a great job at encrypting emails are Lockbin and OpenPGP.

10. Don’t make your contact information public

Many platforms ask for your contact information in order to allow your access to the website. This information includes emails and phone numbers. Part of how to have privacy on the internet is to never leave your contact information public

Each time you register to a website, make sure your email and phone number are not left public.

Remember to also review the information on social media platforms like Facebook and make sure you set up your contact information to private.

11. Use alternative emails

We often register to certain websites out of curiosity. There are websites that won’t allow your access until you provide an email so, if you want to see what the website is about, you have to do as they please.

The problem is that you often know nothing about the websites and what they will do with your information. You can end up by being spammed with emails, having your information sold to third parties, or even have your email used maliciously.

When you come across websites you’re not sure you can trust, don’t provide your main email address. instead, keep an alternative email address to use on suspicious websites.

12. Use strong passwords

Weak passwords are easily broken and they do nothing to protect your private data. To increase your privacy online, always use hard to break passwords that follow the below guides:

  • They are long (minimum 12 characters)
  • Use capital letters and symbols
  • Use different passwords for each account
  • Use a password manager software, such as LastPass, so you make it easy to keep track of all your passwords

Never save your usernames and passwords in unencrypted files on your computer or on cloud storage services as you expose them to any hacker that manages to get access to your computer. A password manager software is the most secure way to keep this kind of info private.

13. Be careful with messaging apps

The most secure messaging apps use end-to-end encryption. This means that only you and the receiver can see the messages shared between you two and nobody else gets access to the data.

A lot of messaging apps use an in transit encryption. This means the messages are decrypted by the app provider and the data is stored on its servers.

For example, WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption. Other apps, such as Facebook messenger, do not use this type of encryption by default, but you can start a secret chat that will be encrypted.

14. Give alternative services a chance

The most popular services are also the ones collecting the most private data about their users. If you want to have more privacy on the internet, you should give alternative services a try.
For example, you can use Crypto.cat or Pidgin.im for chatting instead of Facebook Chat. These apps will encrypt your messages so you can have a private conversation. Another example is Tresorit, which is a cloud storage service with built-in end-to-end encryption you can use instead of Google Drive.
In this post, we’ll go over some of the best apps to protect your privacy online in your day to day online activities.

1. Avast Mobile Security

Installing antivirus software on smartphones and tablets is not, unfortunately, a common practice for most users. But you should be aware that antivirus software doesn’t only strengthen your privacy security, but it also detects any malware or malicious files that could destroy your data or give criminals access to spy on your online activities.

The free Avast Mobile Security app provides a couple of useful features that will keep intruders out of your business. It runs in the background, always keeping an eye out for malicious apps and malware-infected links on the web. It can also block spam or unwanted calls. If your device gets stolen, the app can track it down and allows you to lock your device and erase any sensitive data remotely.

The premium subscription comes with even more features, but the free app will help you protect your privacy online to a greater extent.

Get the free Avast Mobile Security for Android.

2. Kaspersky Antivirus

An alternative to the Avast app is the Kaspersky Antivirus for Android. It’s free to install and helps keep your devices and information private and secure from online threats.

It regularly checks for malware and automatically blocks any malicious app or link before it infects your device. You can also scan your device on-demand for spyware, viruses, ransomware, and Trojans. Similar to Avast, this app can locate your device if it gets stolen and you have the possibility of locking it and wipe up your personal information remotely.

The premium version provides more features such as adding a code to access your messages and files, keeping your financial data secure while shopping online, and filtering out dangerous links while browsing online.

Get the free Kaspersky Antivirus for Android.

3. DuckDuckGo

There are high chances you use Google for your browsing sessions. And it is, indeed, a great and useful browser. But do you know how many things Google knows about you? Well, it knows close to everything – the pages you visited, the devices you used, your location, what you purchased online. Not so great for online privacy.
Fortunately, we have DuckDuckGo. It is a privacy-focused alternative to Google and it doesn’t store any IP address, user data, browsing history, or any personal information. It’s free and there are no advertisements.

Additionally, it forces sites to use encrypted connections when they are available to protect your data from prying eyes. And it also shows you how much a site can be trusted.

Get the DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser for Android or iOS.

4. Telegram Messenger

One threat to your online privacy comes from the messages you exchange over the messaging apps. If the app you’re using doesn’t encrypt your communication, it means anyone that gets access to your device can read and see everything, including sensitive documents and photos.

Telegram is one of the most popular secure messaging apps with over 100 million users. It is especially appreciated for its sleek design and extra features such as audio memos, stickers, and basic photo and video editing.

The app provides strong end-to-end encryption to keep your conversations private and your messages safe from hacker attacks. It’s free to use and free of ads, and also there’s no limit on the size of your media and chats.

One thing to note though, the end-to-end encryption is not enabled by default. So make sure you first access the Secret mode before you start chatting.

Get the Telegram Private Messenger for Android or iOS.

5. Signal Private Messenger

Signal is one of the most secure messaging apps out there. It has all the features one may need such as text and voice messages, voice and video calls, chats, file and media sharing, and even disappearing messages.
The app is free to use and free of ads. All you need for registering is your phone number. It does a great job at protecting your privacy online as all the messages, calls, and exchanged files are end-to-end encrypted and can’t be accessed by anyone.
Another advantage of the Signal Messaging app is that it is open source. This means anyone can check it for security flaws (even though, no flaw has been found to this day). Many leading figures in the cybersecurity field recommend this app, including the well-known whistle-blower Edward Snowden.

6. 2ndLine

Your phone number is one of the private information you want to protect online. And with so many services and companies requesting your phone number, keeping it private can be a challenge.

Luckily, there are apps designed to help keep your phone number private online. 2ndLine is one of these apps.

With 2ndLine, you get a second number available on Android. It uses your device’s existing internet connection to allow you to make free calls and send texts in the US and Canada. You can also purchase long-distance credits to make calls to other countries.

Getting a second phone number is especially useful if you own a business and don’t want to share your personal number, to avoid sales representatives flooding you with calls, or for instances when you must provide a phone number others can see (e.g. selling something on eBay).

Get 2ndLine for Android (available for the US and Canada only).

7. Hushed

If you live outside the US or Canada, then the Hushed app is a great alternative for getting a second number.

With Hushed, you can get a local number from over 45 countries all over the world and use it as your personal phone number. It allows you to send and receive messages and calls using only your WiFi connection and your device. You don’t need cellular service.

It is a paid app, but the prices are affordable and you can choose from more pricing plans depending on your needs. You can also give Hushed a try by registering for a free 3-day trial.

Get the Hushed app for Android or iOS.

8. ProtonMail

Not only internet browsers, but email clients also have a habit of gathering private information about you.

ProtonMail is an email client designed to protect your personal information online and provide you with a secure service to exchange emails. When registering to their service, you’re not required to provide any personal information and they don’t keep logs of your IP addresses.

All the emails you’re sending through this app are secured with end-to-end encryption. This means that even the company is not able to decrypt or read your emails and neither can third-parties. Moreover, the app is open source which means anyone can audit the code.

You can connect email accounts from other email providers and receive emails as usual.

Get the ProtonMail app for Android or iOS.

9. LastPass

One crucial aspect of protecting your online privacy is using strong, hard to guess passwords everywhere. But when you have dozens of accounts for different platforms and services, how do you manage to keep track of all of them without going insane?
LastPass is here to help. It is a password manager app designed to make creating passwords and storing them a no-hassle task. With this app, you can generate strong passwords to improve your security, store and auto-fill passwords wherever you go online, store secure notes, and more.
All the data you input in this app is encrypted and decrypted at the device level meaning, not even the company can decrypt your data. You can also add extra security to your LastPass account with multifactor authentication.
Get the LastPass app for Android, iOS, or Windows.

10. Bouncer

It’s common for the apps you install on your device to request permission to access lots of data on your device. And this can be threatening to your private information.

So you don’t have to worry about apps invading your privacy, Bouncer gives you the ability to grant permissions temporarily. For example, if you want to tag your location on a Facebook post but you don’t want Facebook to access your location whenever it wants, Bouncer will grant the permission to access your location only as a one-time thing. After you close Facebook, it won’t be able to track your location anymore.

Get the Bouncer app for Android.

11. Smart AppLock

Anyone being able to access the apps and files on your device might also compromise your privacy.

Smart AppLock allows you to lock apps containing private content (photos, videos, messages), social networking apps (Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter), call logs, system settings, games – basically everything on your device. You can set up a PIN, passcode, or you can authenticate using your fingerprint.

Get Smart AppLock for Android.

12. DrSoft VPN

One crucial aspect of protecting your privacy online is to make sure the networks you’re connecting to are secured so no one can interfere and read your personal information.
Public WiFi networks are a disaster when it comes to privacy, and should never be used for logging into accounts, checking bank accounts, or making money transactions without using a VPN service.
Besides protecting your privacy online by hiding your real IP address and location, the VPN also encrypts all the data that’s being transferred between your device and the internet. This means that even is someone manages to tamper with the network and get access to your data, they won’t be able to read it because it is encrypted.
With the DrSoft VPN, you can choose to connect to thousands of servers located all around the world. And you can use the VPN service on up to 5 devices. Moreover, you get extra perks such as unblocking geo-restricted content and downloading torrents anonymously.