This week’s news that the United States government has been secretly spying on its citizens has everyone concerned. One program of the NSA harvests phone records from the Verizon network while another which is called PRISM mines data from nine giant Internet companies which includes Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and PalTalk.
President Obama himself has confirmed that both NSA programs do exist. Because of this, people are now more concerned on the way that they communicate using smartphones. There’s a lot of interest right now for anti-surveillance apps. While it’s not a sure fire method of preventing your communication from being intercepted it does make it much more difficult.
TextSecure is an Android app that secures your SMS/MMS over the air and on your phone by the use of encryption. It replaces the usual text messaging app you use on your device and is just as easy to use. You will be able to send encrypted messages to other TextSecure users and if you ever lose your phone your messages won’t be easily accessed since they are encrypted.
Some of the features of this app include
- A secure and private replacement for the default text messaging app.
- All messages are encrypted locally, so if your phone is lost or stolen, your messages will be safe.
- Messages to other TextSecure users are encrypted over the air, protecting your communication in transit.
- Free and Open Source, enabling anyone to verify its security by auditing the code.
RedPhone is an Android app that secures your phone calls by providing end to end encryption. You will still use your own number and make calls like you would normally do. The app however will prompt you if you would like to use encryption once the person you are calling also has RedPhone installed. This app uses Wi-Fi or data and does not consume your minutes.
The Onion Browser is an iOS app that encrypts your web traffic allowing for anonymous surfing. Web sites you visit will not know your real IP address and since your connection is encrypted your ISP won’t be able to spy on you.
Orbot is an Android proxy app that allows other apps installed in your device to access the Internet securely. It works by using Tor to encrypt web traffic and then hides it by bouncing it through different computers located all around the world.
Some of its features include
- Most anonymous way to access any website
- Use Gibberbot with Orbot to chat confidentially with anyone, anywhere
- Orbot can be configured to transparently proxy all of your Internet traffic through Tor
- Any installed app can use Tor if it has a proxy feature
If you are concerned about your privacy then why don’t you test out some of these apps.