Anonymous Apps That Help Secure Your Digital Private Life

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It’s funny how things work out. Not long after social media networks developed new ways for us to share and collect untold amounts of information did we realize that, hey, we’re sharing a whole lot more than we think. Maybe too much. That’s why app developers, hardware manufacturers and even governments have starting taking measures to help consumers regain control over their digital lives. Here are five new communication apps that can help put privacy back in smartphone users’ hands.

 
 

Wickr
Encrypted messaging service Wickr allows users to share photos, messages, videos, audio files and even documents. The catch? There isn’t one. The app collects zero personal or conversation info, and it allows you to find friends without compromising their data, either. Items sent over Wickr’s Timed Feed will automatically self-destruct in 24 hours or less on iOS devices. The most interesting aspect may be how it connects with social sites. Messages or photos shared over Facebook using the app will appear as images of cute kittens to everyone other than the 151 or fewer individuals you specify.

 

Memo
Want to vent to your co-workers, but don’t want to risk losing your job? Memo allows employees of an organization to anonymously share messages within their workplace. After signing up with a company email address or verifying your workplace status using LinkedIn, you’re assigned a unique user ID. Then, you can join the conversation with other anonymous co-workers. Memo doesn’t save any of your personal info or any of the resulting conversations.

Mirage 

Unlike other apps, Mirage’s self-destructing file sharing software doesn’t require recipients to have the program installed. Mirage takes a one-tap approach to allowing you to send photos, videos, text and voice messages that disappear in a set amount of time. What it makes up for in sleek design and ease-of-use, however, it lacks in hacker-proofing. The app itself isn’t overly concerned with encrypting your personal data.

FireChat

Famously used during the recent pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong, FireChat sidesteps the need for an internet connection with location-based messaging. Instead of using cellular networks (say, in case a government shuts them down), it creates a local network using smartphones’ wireless, cellular and Bluetooth connections. That said, the app doesn’t actually encrypt anything, but the app doesn’t collect information, and conversations aren’t saved on any networks, thereby allowing people to communicate anonymously.

PrivateOS
PrivateOS is a proprietary operating system built for the BlackPhone, a fully-secure mobile device built from the ground up with privacy in mind. It’s fitted with several apps built by the makers of Silent Circle, an app that uses encryption to secure communications. Using it, you can fit files and messages with a burn function that deletes them after they’re accessed. Oh, and the makers of the BlackPhone famously refused to install special backdoors that can be accessed by governments. You know, just in case.
 
 
 
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COMMENTS

Jason at 02 Jul 2015

No doubt http://silentcircle.com/ and https://phantomencrypt.com/ are the leaders in mobile privacy. I've heard that the 2nd one would also introduce new product, until the end of 2015

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