How to improve your privacy on your Android device
Ever since Facebook got caught in the Cambridge Analytica case, a lot of big companies, websites and online services and apps are on a spree to update their privacy policies and ensuring their users that their data and details are indeed private and secure with them.
However, in this digital world privacy is a very important aspect and if there is one thing the Facebook incident has taught us is never to trust anyone with your personal information online.
Since a majority of the internet users are also smartphone users, especially Android users, we decided to cover a list of ways where you can easily improve the privacy on your Android device, by changing default settings or installing 3rd party apps and so on.
How to improve your privacy on your Android device
Browse the web privately
The most common thing which most Android smartphone users do with their devices is to browse the internet, either directly from their browser or by clicking on links they find on social media or shared through the messaging apps, one way or the other surfing the web is a most common thing. So, naturally it is important to ensure that all your browsing activity and the information of the sites you visit, links you click are safe and secure and most importantly, private to yourself.
While Google Chrome, the default browser installed on Android devices is definitely one of the best and fastest browsers for Android, it is not necessarily the safest and a privacy focussed browser. But don’t worry there are a few Android browsers which were designed with keeping privacy as the main focus and the DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser is one among them.
The main thing the browser does is blocks all possible kinds of web trackers online while you are trying to browse the web so that you will know what kind of advertisement trackers you face while you are surfing the internet using DuckDuckGo browser. On top of this the browser also tries to force all the websites you visit to use the encrypted HTTPS connection if possible.
DuckDuckGo search engine, which promises to not track the search activity of users even for advertisement purposes, is the default search engine of the browser which makes it more secure and privacy based than using the Google search engine. You could also view the privacy scores of the websites you visit based on their privacy terms and policies document ranging from grade A-F to now how well your privacy would be maintained on such sites.
Ghostery is also a privacy focussed web browser for Android just like DuckDuckGo. It claims to have the largest database of trackers and scripts with information of about 2200 trackers and 4500 web scripts. You have the option to choose between blocking them as a whole or whitelist a specific list of websites.
The web browser even allows you to easily clear your cache, cookies and your browsing history with a quick access option. It even provides you with an overview of the list of trackers present in a website everytime you visit one, giving you a clear idea of how your data is being tracked by various advertisement trackers online.
Firefox focus is also a privacy focussed non proffit web browser for Android from Mozilla whose primary aim is to give the privacy the users deserves to them without making them do a lot of things like tweaking some options or changing settings. For instance, the browser block all kinds of web trackers and advertisements on all the websites you visit by default so you don’t have to scroll through the settings menu.
The browser also allows you to easily delete your entire browsing history, cookies, cache and even the passwords you might have saved while logging into some websites with just a click of a button. Also, since Firefox Focus automatically blocks all the advertisements on the websites you visit, your browsing speed might also be a little faster than in other web browsers for Android.
While a lot of people has shifter towards social messaging apps like Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger for their communication needs, a huge chunk of people still use emails as their primary form of communication especially when it comes to professional purposes where the need arises to share important information over mail.
While the default email app that comes with your device might be secured, it might not be secured enough or safe to trust with all your private information. So, it is always better to have choices and here are a few third party email apps with high level of encryption for your email communication needs.
Proton Mail is one of the most popular email apps for Android with millions of users, it offers military grade level of end to end encryption services which makes it impossible for anyone else than the sender or the recipient of the email to intercept or retract the email. Along with the email messages, the attachments you send are also encrypted and it also offers a self destruct functionality which will automatically destroy the emails after a set amount of time.
Blue Mail is also an end to end encryption based email client app where all the emails sent and received through the app are encrypted with industry leading encryption algorithms. The app is also highly customizable with a lot of themes, notification patterns, and the app also allows you to add multiple emails from different service providers like Google, Outlook and Yahoo making it a ideal solution for all your email needs.
While Whatsapp, the most popular messaging app on Android already has built in end to encryption options available, it is hard to trust an app that is a part of Facebook, which was just recently involved in a huge data scandal compromising the privacy of millions of its users. So, here are a few other less popular but trustworthy alternatives for privacy focussed social messaging apps.
Signal is a privacy focussed messaging app which provides its users with end to end encryption protocol services where all your conversations including the group ones are encrypted. The app also supports sharing of media files in a secure way and you can also make audio calls over the network using the Signal Messenger.
Telegram is a powerful social messaging app with user privacy and security as its main aim. It allows the users to share an unlimited number of messages and media files including audio, image and video files and it also supports creating groups of upto 100,000 users. All the conversations including individual and group along with the media shared are all 256 bit level encryption ensuring the users with maximum levels of security.
What do you think about the privacy focussed apps that are mentioned in this article? Do you think they would help you in improving your privacy on your Android device? If you have any other ways to improve the privacy on your Android device, feel free to let us know in the comments sections below.