Best Privacy-First Apps for iOS – 2023 Guide


iOS users are trying to fight online tracking as best as they can. Mobile devices stand at the center of the surveillance problem. We carry them everywhere and take advantage of the constant connectivity in many ways. However, the apps we use daily might not always be up to the task of protecting our data. Let’s take a look at the iOS apps that can change the way you browse and communicate online.

A brief note on selecting apps for your smartphone: install products from reliable sources only. It is common for cybercriminals to build fake or dangerous apps. Their purpose will not be to give you entertainment or protection. Instead, their objective could be to steal data or spy on your activities. Hence, the golden rule here is to stick to reliable apps. If you encounter a little-known app, take the time to do some research. Find out whether other netizens have reported any red flags. If the problems seem to persist in all reviews, it is best to drop the idea of installing such apps.

Security and Antivirus


iOS users often suffer from the false notion that their devices are secured from external threats like virus and malware attacks. Irrespective of whether you’re adhering to the security best practices or not, your phone is still vulnerable to external threats. Apple has robust security protocols for all the apps, and the screening process is strict enough to weed out threats. Nevertheless, your iPhone can be harmed by threats such as malicious apps that can give the slip to the standard security checks. If you’re using an unsecured Wi-Fi network, chances are higher that hackers break into your iPhone and steal your data.

Thus, it’s essential to have standard antivirus apps like Avast Mobile Security for iOS, Avira Mobile Security, Lookout, Barracuda CloudGen Access, Trend Micro Mobile Security, F-Secure Safe, McAfee Mobile Security, etc. All these apps have been built to secure your devices against the latest and rarest threats. You get plenty of features to control your data and run regular scans to find out what’s wrong.

Private Browsing and VPNs


You can’t achieve absolute digital privacy with the private window feature offered by browsers. Smartphones serve as our second computer, and we often end up storing sensitive personal and financial information on our iPhones. If a hacker manages to gain backdoor entry into our iPhone, we can easily imagine the damage that could be done. It is where secure online surfing options such as private browsers and VPNs step in.

Irrespective of whether you’re using public or shared networks, you can easily experience a private and secure connection by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Now, this is immensely helpful when you’re using unsecured public Wi-Fi, where all personal data is exposed to other users on the network.

The biggest advantage of installing a VPN app on your iOS device is that it conceals the IP address. These apps offer encryption features, which prevent any attempt to trace back your online activity using the device’s IP address.

For instance, Atlas VPN has a user-friendly interface, and everything is organized to let you set up and run the app without much hassle. From AES-256 encryption to automatic connection, VPNs offer some of the most advanced features to provide a secure channel for communication between our iOS devices and the internet.

As far as secure and private browsing is concerned, you’ll be spoilt for choice; however, some of the popular options include Tor, DuckDuckGo, Firefox Focus, Ghostery Privacy Browser, Brave, and Aloha. These browsers are meant to improve your online security while ensuring the safety of stored data.

Since the encrypted traffic facilitates anonymous browsing, you can easily avoid the content blocks and targeted ads. Even your IP address is concealed, and depending on your preferences, it can clear the browsing history, cookies, and even tabs from the cache while exiting the apps.

Call, Message, and Email Encryption


You can keep your personal information safe using a mix of apps, but none can provide complete security. Protecting information on your call, message, and email is possible through encrypted messaging apps like Signal, Wire, WhatsApp, ProtonMail, Keeply, etc. They scramble the text and audio messages. However, giving people a clear-cut answer to which app is the best seems difficult. But, typically, people recommend using Signal, which is the most privacy-focused app for instant messaging. If you use other apps, find out whether they have options for end-to-end encryption. Some might require you to enable it manually.

Encryption is not trivial, and people should pay attention to the options available to them. All these encryption apps offer military-level encryption, where you’ll be able to achieve secure communication on a variety of networks. You can also turn your online activities untraceable and prevent all your private information from falling into the hands of unauthorized people. The biggest advantage offered by these apps is that they allow you to stream or watch all your favorite shows and movies without worrying about hacking attempts or data theft.

More control means more privacy and security


It is common for people to have dozens of apps. Some of them just sit in your smartphone without being opened for weeks or months. While you might believe that a specific app might come useful, deleting unused apps is a necessity. In addition to saving space, it could also mean that you will prevent common dangers. For instance, a secretly malicious app could compromise your activities without your knowledge. Hence, give yourself more space to install legitimate apps that will be valuable additions to your scrolling.

If you hesitate to delete apps, there is a workaround to ease this process. Dubbed as offloading, this practice (specifically for iOS users) can make you more comfortable with removing apps regularly. Offloading means that you delete apps’ program data but retain files and settings associated with them. Long story short, you can reinstall such programs whenever you want, and they will work just as before. For users hesitating to uninstall apps, this can be a handy solution.

By following the recommendations above, you can achieve more privacy. Apps are highly beneficial, and some of them are even critical for maintaining a safe digital lifestyle.