Privacy is a far more serious concern than most people realize. Personal data could be used to steal your identity, and your money. It could also allow malicious people to track you or your loved ones and find opportune moments to do harm. Or on a simple level, it could be used to publicize information you just don't want to be public.

In an age where giving up your private info grants you access to some very helpful services and apps, it can seem impossible to protect that data. It is possible though. We've compiled a list of key services and apps that help you do just that.

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    Probably the most practical first stop to make when looking to ensure your data is private, offers a massive list of recommendations for privacy-focused software and services. It's a well-rounded source that really is indispensable for finding suitable apps.

    Free Open Source Web Ugotsta-image  Mar 2017

  • Cryptomator icon


    If you're using cloud storage, consider Cryptomator to automatically encrypt your files. It offers a transparent workflow that's dead simple, plus it's free, open-source and cross platform for desktop and mobile.

    Free Open Source Mac Windows Linux Android iPhone iPad Ugotsta-image  Mar 2017

  • OpenWrt icon


    All your data typically goes through a router. OpenWrt is a Linux distribution that can be used on a wide variety of routers to provide a configurable, privacy-focused alternative to a router's default system.

    Free Open Source Linux Ugotsta-image  Mar 2017

  • Tor

    A list of privacy apps wouldn't be complete without mentioning Tor. It provides a way to remain anonymous while browsing, which can really help people in countries operating under a dictatorship. Tor itself doesn't necessarily entail perfect anonymity, it's best used with other privacy-focused software, and importantly, privacy-focused services, like those in this list.

    Free Open Source Mac Windows Linux BSD Ugotsta-image  Mar 2017

  • Mullvad icon


    Swedish based Mullvad is one of the few VPNs that rates well across multiple sources. It's a provider that clearly takes security and privacy seriously, enough to let you pay via cash by mail.

    Commercial Mac Windows Linux Web Ugotsta-image  Mar 2017

  • AirVPN icon


    Based in Italy, AirVPN is one of a handful of VPNs that performed well in leak testing, results available at . This is a worthy VPN that makes it known they care about your privacy, one of the best options for Windows users.

    Commercial Mac Windows Linux Android iPhone Ugotsta-image  Mar 2017

  • Qubes OS icon

    Qubes OS

    Regarding privacy, Windows 10 just isn't built to be trustworthy. Linux offers a great alternative and Qubes OS lets you use choose between various Linux distributions for freedom that doesn't compromise security.

    Free Open Source Linux Xen Ugotsta-image  Mar 2017

  • Tails icon


    Tails provides an excellent way to operate securely on practically any computer. It's designed for live use so it can be installed on a CD or USB drive, letting you run an entire OS from that device without any detection from the PC's original system. It even works great on older PCs.

    Free Open Source Linux Ugotsta-image  Mar 2017

  • Lineage OS icon

    Lineage OS

    If you have an Android device, chances are likely your private data is not secure. Lineage OS offers an alternative to the stock Android system that isn't bundled with privacy offending apps. It's a fork of the immensely popular but now discontinued CyanogenMod, which works with quite a variety of devices.

    Free Open Source Android Ugotsta-image  Mar 2017

  • CopperheadOS icon


    While not quite as widely supported device-wise as LineageOS, CopperheadOS is specifically built as a security and privacy hardened version of Android. If you've got a phone that supports it, it's a great option to ensure privacy.

    Free Open Source Android Ugotsta-image  Mar 2017

  • VeraCrypt icon


    Keep your local file-system private with free, on-the-fly encryption using VeraCrypt. It's available across multiple desktop platforms, including a portable version for Windows.

    Free Open Source Mac Windows Linux Ugotsta-image  Mar 2017

  • Destroy Windows Spying icon

    Destroy Windows Spying

    Windows 10 is a privacy disaster waiting to happen. If you absolutely must use use it, at least consider a tool to help undo the privacy mess underlying it. Destroy Windows Spying is one such tool, it's open source and dead simple.

    Free Open Source Windows Ugotsta-image  Mar 2017

  • Panopticlick icon


    Panopticlick is a super fast way to check if your browser is able to protect your privacy. Just visit the site and hit the "Test Me" button. It links you right to Privacy Badger as a viable solution to get protected.

    Free Open Source Web Ugotsta-image  Mar 2017

  • Privacy Badger icon

    Privacy Badger

    If you're only concerned about privacy and just want to block tracking scripts, Privacy Badger comes highly recommended. It's an open source browser extension that helps detect and block trackers.

    Free Open Source Mac Windows Linux Chrome Firefox Ugotsta-image  Mar 2017

  • uBlock Origin icon

    uBlock Origin

    Often mistaken as just an ad blocker, uBlock Origin is actually a general purpose script blocker that happens to excel at blocking ads. It's an extension for Firefox and Chrome that potentially can block all scripts, including tracking scripts, to help maintain privacy when browsing.

    Free Open Source Mac Windows Linux Microsoft Edge Vivaldi Browser Chrome Safari Opera ... Chromium Firefox Ugotsta-image  Mar 2017

  • Brave icon


    Replace your browser entirely with Brave. It's an out-of-the-box solution for those who want a privacy-focused browser that's still as capable as their current one. It's Chromium based but by default, it blocks ad and tracker scripts and is available on most platforms, desktop and mobile.

    Free Open Source Mac Windows Linux Android iPhone Android Tablet iPad Ugotsta-image  Mar 2017

  • Tor Browser icon

    Tor Browser

    Another great browser of choice for those concerned about privacy, Tor browser is available for all the major desktop platforms.

    Free Open Source Mac Windows Linux OpenBSD Ugotsta-image  Mar 2017

  • Master Password icon

    Master Password

    Given the countless data breaches at high profile web services over the past few years, it's important to use different passwords across services so hackers who find a password for one won't necessarily get the passwords for others. Master Password offers a great solution for that, it's privacy focused, cross-platform for mobile and desktop, free and open-source.

    Free Open Source Mac Windows Linux Web Android iPhone Ugotsta-image  Mar 2017

  • ProtonMail icon


    A widely recognized, privacy focused email provider, the Swiss-based ProtonMail is also in the process of launching a VPN as well. It's another helpful indication that they're good at privacy and worthy of their established name.

    Free Open Source Web Android iPhone iPad Ugotsta-image  Mar 2017

  • Seafile icon


    Seafile offers a secure and privacy-focused cloud-storage solution that's open-source, so you can host it yourself for the utmost privacy.

    Freemium Mac Windows Linux Web Android iPhone Android Tablet iPad ... Self-Hosted Ugotsta-image  Mar 2017

  • Bitcoin icon


    Where money is involved, tracking is of the highest importance. Bitcoin provides a way to maintain anonymity with your spending to avoid all the tracking. While it's not supported everywhere, it's gaining momentum as a viable currency.

    Free Open Source Mac Windows Linux BSD Ruby C# Python JavaScript ... FreeBSD C++ Java Ugotsta-image  Mar 2017

  • Thunderbird

    With a history as decorated as Firefox, Thunderbird is highly recognized as a solid, cross-platform, desktop e-mail client with privacy built in.

    Free Open Source Mac Windows Linux BSD Haiku Ugotsta-image  Mar 2017

  • Searx icon


    Being open source provides an easy way to check on an app's security and privacy. Searx is a search engine with an open source code base that provides that layer of security. It keeps no logs, has no ads and no tracking scripts.

    Free Open Source Linux Web Self-Hosted Ugotsta-image  Mar 2017

  • Signal icon


    Signal is a highly decorated messaging app with privacy baked in. It serves no ads or tracking scripts, is open source and available across multiple platforms.

    Free Open Source Mac Windows Linux Android iPhone Chrome Ugotsta-image  Mar 2017

  • Ghostbin icon


    Share pasted text and code in a totally safe and private way through Ghostbin. It's available online or as a self-hosted solution that's open source.

    Free Open Source Web jQuery Bootstrap Ugotsta-image  Mar 2017

  • Turtl icon


    Turtl is a note app similar to Evernote, but built with privacy in mind. It's open source, easy to review how it works. And it can be self-hosted for the ultimate in privacy.

    Free Open Source Mac Windows Linux Android Self-Hosted Ugotsta-image  Mar 2017

  • DeepSound icon


    Need to send a secret message to someone? Encrypt your message into an audio file with DeepSound. Ensure the recipient has the key you encrypt it with and they'll be able to decrypt it to get the message.

    Free Windows Ugotsta-image  Mar 2017

  • Syncthing icon


    Syncthing offers a great alternative to insecure and non-private file syncing services and apps. It's an open source solution that's available across multiple platforms.

    Free Open Source Mac Windows Linux Android Android Tablet BSD Self-Hosted Cloudron Ugotsta-image  Mar 2017