10 Best Security Apps For Android That Are Not Antivirus Apps
When you google for the term security apps, you get a ton of antivirus and anti-malware app listings. Unfortunately, this is a very narrow view of what exists. There are tons of apps that can boost your security. Most of them are pretty easy to use and don’t use up a ton of resources. Here are the best security apps currently available on Android.
Of course, there are other things you can do as well. We also recommend that you set up a lock screen with an actual lock (biometric or otherwise) and only download apps and games from the Play Store to maximize your security.
Bitwarden password manager
Price: Free / $ 4.99
Bitwarden Password Manager is a simple but effective application for storing passwords. It uses 256-bit AES encryption with salt hash and PBKDF2 SHA-256. It is much more than most. It is not an alternative to something like LastPass. The app encrypts everything behind a master password. The app also includes a password generator and the ability to sync between devices. The way your data is encrypted even prevents Bitwarden from seeing your information. It’s also open source in case you want to see the code for yourself.
Price: $ 0.99
Bouncer is one of the new security apps. This manages your authorizations. Here is how it works. Sometimes you might want to give temporary permission access to an app, but you don’t want the app to have permission all the time. Bouncer basically does this for you. You can do something like activate the location in Facebook and Bouncer asks if you only want it temporarily. It will then automatically remove the authorization later for you. So you can use apps a bit more freely without worrying about pinging things like your location 24/7. It costs a measly $ 0.99 and we think it’s worth it. Android 10 and 11 have been added to more granular authorization features, so this app may end up becoming redundant, but that day is not the case today.
Find my device by Google
Find my device by Google was previously the Android device manager. The name has changed. However, the app still does the same. It tracks the location of your phone. The app can also play sounds for easier searching. It can also erase your device, display a message and lock your phone remotely. The possibility of finding a lost phone is vital to protect your privacy. We also really like the data erase tool. It protects you even if you never get your device back. This one is completely free, with no ads and no in-app purchases. This makes it a good option for security applications.
We originally had Firefox Focus on this list. However, Mozilla has overhauled Firefox in depth and included most of the security features of Firefox Focus. So, we just recommend the standard Firefox browser now. It offers a range of tools for those concerned about privacy. The app includes various add-ons to improve functionality, a private mode that removes your browsing history on exit, a dark mode, and an enhanced tracking protection mode that automatically blocks over 2000 trackers. It does more for privacy than most of the big name browsers, but it retains the things people love like cross-platform syncing and password saving.
Credit: Joe Hindy / Android Authority
Price: Free / up to $ 9.99
GlassWire is one of the new security applications. It lets you see which apps are consuming your data. You get a live graph that shows how much data your apps are consuming. Plus, you’ll receive alerts to let you know when a new app sucks data. It’s a great way to see how much data each of your apps is using. It’s also a great way to see any weird activity that may be happening in the background. Its main use is to make sure you don’t hit your data limit. Still, seeing a random app that you don’t know to grab something from the web can be extremely revealing.
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Price: Free / $ 12-24 per year
LastPass is one of the best password manager apps out there. It allows you to store site passwords, PIN codes and other sensitive information for quick recall. Everything is hidden behind a master password of your choice. It’s infinitely safer than just putting this information almost everywhere else. You can also get LastPass Authenticator for added security. It’s powerful and multiplatform. The free version should give you most of the functionality of your Android device. The pro version adds features, more devices, sync options and more. It is one of the must-have security applications. Bit Warden is a great free password manager if you want to go this route.
Price: Free / $ 4 $ 24 per month
ProtonVPN is one of the newest VPNs on the market. We really like this one. It has one of the best free versions of any VPN with unlimited data at reduced speed. In addition, they have a strict no logging policy, no sharing policy, and network encryption. This basically makes this app a unicorn. You won’t get the absolute best performance. After all, gratuity cannot go that far. However, those interested in security probably don’t mind waiting an extra second or two for a page to load if it’s secure and free. There are premium VPNs with no logging policy, no sharing policy, and no encryption. We have a list of related VPNs at the bottom of this article if you want to try others.
Credit: Joe Hindy / Android Authority
Price: Free / $ 59.99 – $ 99.99 (one time)
Resilio Sync allows you to create your own cloud storage. The computer version turns your usual everyday computer into a cloud storage server. The app then helps you sync files between your PC and your phone or tablet. Think of it like Google Drive or Dropbox, except you know exactly where your files are at all times. This is ideal for more sensitive data. It’s also ideal for those who don’t trust online cloud storage, but still want the versatility of having it. The application is simple, even for beginners. The free version is more than capable for simple use cases. It is one of the most underrated security apps. There is a pro version with a pretty steep one-time price, but at least it’s not a subscription.
Signal Private Messenger, Telegram, WhatsApp, etc.
Price: Free (each)
There are a small but growing number of messaging apps with at least one form of encryption. Some of the popular options include Telegram, Signal Private Messenger, and WhatsApp. Each has different levels of encryption, and some people trust one brand over another. We’re not here to make that choice for you, but all have encrypted messaging. Signal also adds things like video calling, while WhatsApp has the biggest feature set of the bunch. For basic encrypted messaging, you can’t go wrong anyway. They are all free at the time of writing.
Credit: Joe Hindy / Android Authority
Tor project (four applications)
The Tor Project is probably one of the more obvious security and privacy choices on almost any platform. Unfortunately, their Android apps aren’t as robust as their IT offerings, but they’re getting there slowly. For now, you have access to Orfox, the Tor browser on Android (still in beta!) And Orbot, a proxy app that helps other apps use Tor technology to remain anonymous. The browser is still under construction but progressing well, but Orbot is definitely a solid application worth grabbing. The project also recently released Ooniprobe, an app that lets you see if your internet is blocking your connection to certain sites. These are all great security apps for those who are a bit more advanced. There is technically a fifth app, but it’s actually just the alpha version of Tor Browser for those who want to live on the cutting edge.
Bonus: any authentication application
Price: Free (usually)
Authenticator apps are a relatively new thing in Android. However, they do offer tons of security. It’s a two-step authentication style. You enter your password and then enter an authorization code from one of these apps. There are several to choose from. This includes Google Authenticator (linked), Microsoft Authenticator, Authy 2-Factor, FreeOTP Authenticator, LastPass Authenticator, and others. This is basically the best security for any account, as it’s extremely unlikely that a hacker will gain access to your phone as opposed to something like an email address. We have our list of the best button authenticator apps above!
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If we missed out on any of the best security apps for Android, let us know in the comments! You can also click here to check our latest listings of Android apps and games.