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January 23, 2014updated 22 Sep 2016 11:03am

5 Apps that fend off the snoopers

Want to stop Facebook taking over your Wi-Fi or the NSA from reading your texts?

By Ben Sullivan

Following the NSA-snooping Snowden revelations last year, mobile communications privacy has become a hot topic. Check out these apps below for ways to protect your data from unwanted snoopers.



This Android app monitors other apps on your smartphone for signs of snooping, and the claims to stop them. This is a very reassuring app, especially as people have noticed that the Facebook Android app has started to request control over Wi-Fi aerials with no warning or explanation.


Confide is an iPhone app that offers self-deleting messaging, pretty much like the time-sensitive service Snapchat provides. Messages appear line by line to prevent ‘snoopers’ being able to take screenshots of the whole conversation.


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Another iPhone app that’s also available on Android and PC, Lastpass provides a secure way to create and store secure passwords, which can help to stop you from reusing the same passwords over and over again. This is a common problem, as once a cybercriminal has one of your passwords, it is likely to be able to gain access to other profiles you own. Keep your passwords tricky and varied!


This Android app allows users to send voice messages and texts protects by the very secure 256-bit AES encryption approved by the US government for "top secret" communications.

Silent Text

From Silent Circle, whose encrypted email service was shut down last year by the US government, this encrypted text service offers peace of mind that your SMS communications will be tough to crack. There is a ‘burn notification’ for a recall of the Silent Text you did not mean to send or to dissolve any and all traces of the text message.

Go the next page for others ways to keep your data secure…


Other secure methods…

Encrypted USB drives are a great idea. Storing information offline is a good start to stop snooping, and products like Iron Key’s USB drives offer internal encryption within a very tough and rugged case. You can even set the device to ‘self-destruct’ after a configurable amount of break-in attempts.


The ‘Off Pocket’ is a metal-fabric pouch that you can sit your phone in. It effectively blocks all radio communication, so no one can track your mobile or listen in. The first run of the off pocket sold out almost straight away last year!


The new encrypted mobile device will be shown off to the world at Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona. The makers say that the device will pass under the radar of surveillance systems by using encrypted hardware that the NSA can’t look in.

"If a Blackphone user’s activity is swept up in large-scale metadata collection, it will generally reveal less about the Blackphone user than a phone would which doesn’t prioritise privacy and safety the way we do," says Weir-Jones. "This is a big step forward over what you can buy today."



Can you see it? No? It’s the Blackphone…

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