Written by Deric | Last Updated June 26th, 2019Our goal, here at Best Company, is to provide you with honest, reliable information you need to find companies you can trust.
Smartphones and tablets are in high demand, and so is your personal identifying information. But you can avoid being an easy target for device burglars and identity thieves by installing apps that help counter criminals' attempts to make your life miserable. We've curated a list of 20 apps that can help protect your Android device and information therein from physical theft, app intrusion, password breach, and credit abuse-all completely free.
Smart devices are like portable treasure troves for criminals. If you have a nice phone or tablet, you can bet it's a target for criminals, whether it's the actual device they're after, or the emails, contacts, or account numbers inside of it. Luckily, there are apps designed to alarm device owners of possible theft and locate devices if they have been stolen or lost.
The Prey app protects up to three devices per account and boasts a long list of anti-theft features. First, you can set your device to trigger a loud alarm remotely, even if your phone volume is set to "silent." It allows you to track and locate a lost or stolen phone on a map using both GPS and WiFi triangulation. You can remotely lock the device, take pictures, display a tailored alert message on the screen, and gather network information being used by your phone's "new" user. The app also has uninstall protection, SMS report activation, and SIM card change detection.
AVAST! offers not only computer anti-virus protection but also mobile phone theft protection. The app operates in stealth mode, which hides the app itself from your phone interface to be controlled remotely. With the app, you can track a lost or stolen phone and control several features remotely, such as locking or wiping the memory, taking photos, or listening to audio.
This highly rated alarm system can help prevent your phone from being stolen by thieves, or used by nosy family members or kids trying to access your devices without your consent. The alarm system sounds when phone movement is detected. A loud alarm of your choice sounds even if the phone is in silent mode, the phone vibrates, and the screen flashes bright lights when triggered. Needless to say, unsuspecting thieves will be caught red-handed.
This anti-theft app does a lot for your peace of mind without affecting battery life or requiring an Internet connection. It includes an anti-theft alarm that must be disabled with a password, remote text message action controls, a locked uninstall option, and location returns based on approximate NET and exact GPS location tracks.
This alarm app focuses specifically on protecting your device while it is charging at a free plug point. Users can activate the app when connecting the phone to the charger. When disconnecting the phone to the charger, a passcode is necessary to deactivate the alarm-which sounds at maximum volume, bypassing wired headset or silent mode settings to use the phone speakers. Another perk of this app is that there are no ads.
Unless your device is protected, anyone using it temporarily can access your applications. Much more alarming is the fact that the apps you download often have generous permissions to retrieve your personal information. Though app-protecting and information-securing apps aren't foolproof, these ones have worked well for Android users concerned about privacy.
This amazing app controls access your installed apps have to your private data-regardless of the apps' permissions. You can block access to your device ID, subscriber ID, phone number, incoming and outgoing call numbers, GPS location, list of accounts, contacts, browser history, network information, and more.
Lock SMS, contacts, Gmail, Facebook, Calls, or any other app you choose-such as double locking a virtual wallet-to keep your app usage to yourself. When you enable this app, no one can kill or uninstall it without your password.
Super AppLock not only helps with security, but also makes your app usage more convenient, as users can lock screen brightness or screen rotation for any individual app. Individual apps can be given password or pattern locks, and password options can be set for dialing or receiving calls on your phone. Additionally, you can set certain lock activation hours, protect installed apps, and whitelist your location.
9. Application Protection
Similar to the AppLock above, this app protects your device from others a) accidentally changing settings or uninstalling an app (as kids often do) or b) installing malware or other unwanted apps. Additionally, it will send you an email after the wrong passcode has been given ten times.
10. Privacy Master - Free AppLock
This app gives the user master privacy power. Only the main user can access apps and data, such as email, gallery, memo, photos, and games. Anonymous un/installations are blocked, as are unknown USB drives and unauthorized task manager access.
Recent data breaches have set off so-called alarms in the news media all over the world. Passwords, especially, have received unprecedented attention as governments, businesses, and other organizations seek to secure data from threatening bugs. For individual device security, installing a password manager might be a good choice. Check out these apps that specialize in password generation, storage, and protection.
Compatible with Google Authenticator, the Dashlane app keeps track of, encrypts, and stores your different account passwords and other information so it can automatically log you into websites and apps. The app will auto-fill forms with your information as well. Dashlane's security includes a strong password generator, secure password vault, security breach alerts for online accounts, and auto-locks and PIN locks after too much inactivity. The app also includes a secure digital wallet. Not a bad package-and, like all the other apps we mention, it's free!
B-Folders also generates and manages passwords, protecting your accounts from thieves, hackers, and malware. But it also has a secure notes organizer that syncs data across all your devices directly, without any cloud services. Your contacts, credit card info, bank account numbers, tasks, and journal are kept totally secure. Data is encrypted with a government-grade AES cipher and there is an optional self-destruct function.
This Kaspersky app securely stores and manages passwords for website and app accounts for both Android and iOS devices, and synchronizes those passwords across the mobile devices and your computers. Individual passwords can only be accessed by unlocking the entire system with the master password. Encryption prevents hackers from stealing your passwords and personal information is stored in an identity card for automatic web form completion.
Keeper's double-encrypted password and data syncing allows you to protect your passwords as well as share view-only or edit-accessible records with specific groups, such as business teams and family members. The app also comes with a strong password generator in addition to the two-factor authentication system.
The recently updated RoboForm by Siber Systems operates on a one-touch login and form-filler system. The app also offers to save passwords while you are browsing and the browser history has been improved. Users can also set fixed file-deletion options for downloads.
It's always a good idea to keep track of what's going on with your credit. But it's essential if you're concerned about identity theft, as unauthorized credit account use is one of the first ways victims are alerted that there is a problem. These apps are good tools for tracking and protecting your credit from your Android device.
16. LifeLock Wallet App
LifeLocks' virtual wallet for both Android and iOS holds much of your vital information as digital copies in one place-insurance cards, ID cards, loyalty and payment cards, receipts and more. That way, you have a backup of all of your cards and can receive credit card transaction and balance updates. If you have any LifeLock subscriptions, you can also access identity protection services through the app, which includes identity fraud alerts and guaranteed professional recovery assistance in the event of identity theft.
17. Credit Sesame
Downloading this app is an easy way to view your Experian credit score for free once a month. You can also monitor important changes to your credit report and see how your credit score has changed over time. Being aware of these changes can help alert you to credit and identity theft.
The recently updated Google Wallet lets you carry loyalty offers and programs in one place and email funds to other people securely. Users with a Google Wallet Card can spend their wallet balance online or in stores and even withdraw cast at ATMs. The app comes with 24/7 fraud monitoring and, if your device is lost or stolen, you can disable the app remotely, from anywhere online.
19. Mint.com App
Mint gives users perspective in all things financial, and syncs with mobile, tablet, and the web. When you input your personal finance accounts, you can see all transactions, track budgets and cash spending, and get alerts about any unusual activity. The app itself is passcode protected, and if you lose your device you can deactivate device access remotely.
Thousands of Android owners use Check to get reminders about bill due dates or to schedule payments in advance. Users receive alerts when funds are low or credit limits are near. You can manage multiple bank accounts, credit cards, and bills, all within bank-level encryption security and physical security standards. The app is monitored by third party security experts and can be accessed on your device only with your 4-digit PIN.