Apps to keep your data private

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.


  • privacytools.io

    Free Web Website

    Probably the most practical first stop to make when looking to ensure your data is private, privacytools.io 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.

     

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  • Cryptomator

    Free Mac Windows Linux Android iPhone ... iPad Website

    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.

     

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  • OpenWrt

    Free Linux Website

    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.

     

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  • Tor

    Free Mac Windows Linux BSD Website

    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.

     

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  • Mullvad

    Commercial Mac Windows Linux Web Android ... iPhone Android Tablet iPad Qubes OS OpenWrt Tomato IPFire pfSense DD-WRT Website

    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.

     

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  • AirVPN

    Commercial Mac Windows Linux Android iPhone Website

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

     

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  • Qubes OS

    Free Linux Fedora Xen Website

    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.

     

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  • Tails

    Free Linux Tor Browser Bundle GNOME Tor Thunderbird Website

    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.

     

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  • LineageOS

    Free Android Android Tablet Website

    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.

     

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  • CopperheadOS

    Free Android Website

    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.

     

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  • VeraCrypt

    Free Mac Windows Linux PortableApps.com Website

    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.

     

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  • Destroy Windows Spying

    Free Windows Website

    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.

     

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  • Panopticlick

    Free Web Website

    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.

     

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  • Privacy Badger

    Free Mac Windows Linux Chrome Firefox Website

    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.

     

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  • uBlock Origin

    Free Mac Windows Linux Microsoft Edge Vivaldi Browser ... Chrome Safari Pale Moon Opera Chromium Firefox Website

    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.

     

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  • Brave

    Free Mac Windows Linux Android iPhone ... Android Tablet iPad Electron / Atom Shell Website

    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.

     

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  • Tor Browser

    Free Mac Windows Linux Android OpenBSD Website

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

     

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  • Master Password

    Free Mac Linux Web Android iPhone Website

    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.

     

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  • ProtonMail

    Freemium Web Android iPhone iPad Website

    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.

     

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  • Seafile

    Freemium Mac Windows Linux Web Android ... iPhone Android Tablet iPad Self-Hosted Website

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

     

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  • Bitcoin

    Free Mac Windows Linux BSD Website

    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.

     

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  • Thunderbird

    Free Mac Windows Linux BSD PortableApps.com ... Haiku Website

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

     

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  • Searx

    Free Linux Web Self-Hosted Website

    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.

     

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  • Signal

    Free Mac Windows Linux Android iPhone ... Android Tablet iPad Chrome Website

    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.

     

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  • Ghostbin

    Free Web jQuery Bootstrap Website

    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.

     

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  • Turtl

    Free Mac Windows Linux Android Android Tablet ... Self-Hosted Chrome Firefox Website

    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.

     

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  • DeepSound

    Free Windows Website

    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.

     

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  • Syncthing

    Free Mac Windows Linux Android Android Tablet ... BSD Self-Hosted Cloudron Website

    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.

     

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Comments on Apps to keep your data private

Ariana
· Jul 2018 · Helpful Not helpful 2 Helpful Report as spam

Great list, thanks for sharing! Would also be nice to see Tutanota on the list. They are very similar to Proton Mail, but more focused on open source: https://tutanota.com/blog/posts/secure-mail-open-source

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JohnFastman
· Apr 2018 · Helpful Not helpful Report as spam

> Bitcoin provides a way to maintain anonymity with your spending to avoid all the tracking.

Not really. Not unless you bought your bitcoin anonymously to begin with. Every bitcoin transaction is recorded in the blockchain. If you buy bitcoin to begin with using, e.g. a credit card, then all your future transactions can be traced back to you. Bitcoin is not inherently anonymous. In that respect Monero is more anonymous.

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