Free apps to keep your privacy online and in the real world

There are dozens of apps, websites and services that are designed to help protect your privacy on the go, but how do you tell which ones are actually trustworthy and which ones just want you to sign up for more services? Here are a few tools you should be using — and you can find more information in the accompanying glossary.

1. Keep Safe

The Keep Safe App works by giving users the option to verify their phone number and/or make their location data private. A 30-day and a one-year subscription are available, and the lifetime option includes a third-party auditing service. Keep Safe also offers a VPN and some free storage, which means users can access files they make using its service without ever leaving a trace. Keep Safe is available for iOS devices and for Android devices.

2. WhoYouAre

This is a phone app that promises to manage how much information and data you share with apps. You get to choose which of your three “intentions” — family, friendship or business — will dole out your information. The company says it will provide a notification to you when you cross a boundary you set. You can choose to share your data when using an app for work-related purposes. When you start using another app, you can opt to give it access to more aspects of your data.

3. Silent Circle

Silent Circle is a secure phone company that gives all of its users 24/7 access to a dedicated server, which can be used to receive encrypted calls and messages, as well as files. Members have the ability to send SOS messages to their emergency contacts. Silent Circle also offers its own encrypted chat app, called Blackphone.

4. PhoneRadar

PhoneRadar is a free app that saves information on cellular networks, enabling you to search by location, timing and more. The app also provides location services for Bluetooth devices. When you have questions about data sharing with a specific network, you can check whether your query has been returned.

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