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Private Browser Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on July 6th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: ANONYMOUS
Privacy conscious? Private Browser might ease those worries.
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Disconnect Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Jennifer Allen on May 1st, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: PRACTICAL PRIVACY
Disconnect is a quick to use, security conscious tool for those worried about sharing too much.
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DSTRUX Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Jennifer Allen on April 13th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: PRIVACY CONSCIOUS
Upload files to social networks while knowing nothing is permanent.
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RakEM is a New Private Messaging App That Wants to Save You From Text-Regret

Posted by Jessica Fisher on March 25th, 2015
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

RakEM, byRaketu Communication, is amobile messaging app that allows users to hold instant messaging conversations privatly while knowing their information is not being stored by a company.RakEM uses server-less, device-to-device direct technology and "self-mutating encryption algorithms" to protect your texts. The app also allows you to erase texts that you have sent. This can be a big deal for people who text while angry (or otherwise impared). Not only do the texts get erased from your phone, but from the recipient's as well.

"Other messaging apps have promised security, but we've all read the stories about images and messages that have been unwittingly exposed," said Greg Parker, president and CEO of Raketu, in a press release. "With security breaches making headlines almost daily, people want assurance that their communications are private and protected. And that, should they have second thoughts about something they sent, they can delete with confidence from devices. Raketu's technology makes this possible."

You can downloadRakEMon the App Store for free to start texting without worry.

DataVault Password Manager Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on January 27th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: SECURE DATA STORAGE
Store your passwords and other sensitive information safely, thanks to DataVault Password Manager.
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TattleType is Basically Kid Spyware for Parents

Posted by Jessica Fisher on January 13th, 2015
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

For those helicopter parents who hover about their kid in constant fear, the internet can be a scary place. Vaughn Simon has created a new app, TattleType, that allows parents to monitor what their kids are typing.

Basically a parent can set up a list of restricted words and then if their kids types those words, the parent is notified. The app can also quote a few words leading up to the restricted word and whatever the child typed afterward for the next 30 seconds. Is it a creepy app that violates your kid's privacy, or a powerful tool to help provide a level of safety to your family?

You can decide for yourself (if you're so inclined) by downloading TattleType for $4.99 on the App Store.

ZenMate Security VPN has Been Released for iOS 8

Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 10th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

ZenMate Security VPN by ZenGuard has released an updated version optimized for iOS 8. The app protects your privacy by hiding your IP and Securing your device with encryption. The app has been super popular; just 14 months after launch they have broken their 5 million user milestone. ZenMate Security VPN will also now have the Firefox extension, which brings the same level of security to Firefox.

You can download ZenMate Security VPN for free on the App Store now.

StitMe Protects your Identity for Free.

Posted by Jessica Fisher on August 11th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

StitMe, by Boolean Tech, is a security app that allows users to call or text others while keeping their mobile phone number private. In place of your phone number, the recipient’s caller ID will show a unique StitMe-generated number which a permanent number that the recipient can contact you with. This protects the user from unwanted return calls, sales pitches, and harassment. The app can provide an added layer of security when dealing with things from online dating to selling things on Craigslist or eBay.

Stitme is available for free on the App Store.

MyPermissions - Online Privacy Shield Creates a Trust Between Developers and Customers

Posted by Andrew Stevens on October 31st, 2013
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

MyPermissions - Online Privacy Shield is a trust certification program for iOS developers, helping them build a level of trust between companies and its customers. The trust certification programs requires that developers agree to a list of standards to protect the personal information of their users. Those who complete the program are able to display a shield icon on their website, making their followers feel more at ease about giving up their information.

“Consumers are often unaware of the dangers associated with online privacy and are not cautious when sharing personal information,” said Olivier Amar, CEO and co-founder of MyPermissions, in a press release. “With the Trust Certification Program, we give developers the ability to provide a safe online environment for consumers when interacting with apps and websites. Developers who chose to participate in the program display a level of trustworthiness and accountability when it comes to protecting information."

Folder Lock Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Angela LaFollette on October 9th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: PEACE OF MIND
Folder Lock discreetly protects secret media and information and comes with an advanced security system to keep prying eyes from uncovering private information.
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How To: Set Up and Use VPN Connections from iOS

Posted by Carter Dotson on August 26th, 2013

Have issues with firewalls on a local network? Need to connect to work networks for reasons of work? Just want to get privacy while browsing? Setting up a VPN is easy on iOS.

To set up a standard VPN connection, start by going to Settings -> General -> VPN. Tap Add VPN Connection. Choose the protocol that your VPN connection uses from the three protocol choices.

Use Description to create a name for the service. Server will be the server that gets connected to - this may be a URL or an IP address. RSA SecurID may be used by your VPN connection, toggle it if necessary. If off, then the Password section will appear. Put your password in this section. Encryption Level will determine just how much of the connection is encrypted. Send All Traffic will determine if all traffic gets sent to the VPN or not.

To enable the VPN, you can either turn on the connection by enabling it in the VPN section, or by turning on the new VPN toggle that appears in the main section of Settings. If the connection works, a VPN icon will appear in the status bar to indicate when you are connected to the VPN.

Some specialized VPN connections, like OpenVPN, require being set up in an app. For example, OpenVPN Connect, the official app from the creators of OpenVPN, works for opening those connections up. They require loading a file with the connection information in it, which can be added either by importing files from Private Tunnel, an OpenVPN Access Server, from iTunes local file storage, or by opening up a file from another app.

Once you input your credentials, you can sign in using the app you originally used to sign in with. The credentials will appear in the VPN section, but you must connect through the original app.

While many VPN services are paid, there are some free ones out there: a great way to try out the feature is through VPNbook.

Now get connected!

Favorite 4: Privacy-Friendly Replacement Apps

Posted by Carter Dotson on July 22nd, 2013

Given recent news events, the privacy of our data and just who has the ability to look at it is a growing concern. Many services that we use are proprietary creations, often served by corporations who may be willing (or forced) to distribute data transmitted through these services to governments or corporations. Now, for the security and privacy conscious, using iOS is probably not recommended because it is running on a proprietary OS and only allows apps that Apple specifically approves. However, for those who are more moderate on issues of privacy and security especially considering the closed-source nature of iOS as a whole. Thankfully, there’s a variety of services that can replace ones you currently use with open-source and more secure alternatives. Here’s four privacy-friendly replacement apps for iOS.

DuckDuckGo: Google’s whole business model is based around the fact that they use and sell data to sell more advertisments. DuckDuckGo is an anonymous search engine that is also partially open-source. The app allows for searches to be made, and top stories from the engine’s sources are available in a Readability-powered format, though this can be disabled for those concerend about just what Readability is doing with article reading data.

OpenMap: Powered by OpenStreetMaps, this app provides access to the open source mapping project’s series of maps that are freely-available. While the official website offers a mobile-friendly version, the app provides another advantage: it supports the ability to edit the maps, helping to clear up errors and contributing to the project as a whole. As well, maps can be saved for offline use. All this without possibly transmitting data back to Google or Apple who may be using it for unknown purposes.

ChatSecure: Just because you’re concerned about security doesn’t mean you can’t be social. This universal IM client supports multiple IM clients both open and proprietary with secure “off-the-record” chat that encrypts messages to keep away prying eyes. The app is open source as well, for those who like their software free as in freedom (well, as free as App Store software gets) as well as free as beer. Even for those not concerned about privacy so much, a free multi-protocol IM app is hard to pass up.

Mumble: Sometimes text chat just won’t do. So Mumble brings low-latency, secure, open source voice chat that’s also cross-platform to iOS users. Connect to a public or private server with other users of the service and enjoy free, secure, voice chatting. Sure, it was designed for gaming, but hey, doesn’t mean you can’t use it to have important chats. Or chat while playing games too. Even privacy advocates gotta unwind somehow.

How To: Manage Privacy Settings on iOS

Posted by Carter Dotson on January 21st, 2013

Our phones have become a significant part of our lives, holding large quantities of our personal data on them. Apps that use our data are also a significant part of them, especially given the rise of free apps and services – if you’re not paying, you’re the product – and what these apps have access to is often quite extensive. While Apple’s walled garden does keep many of those with malicious intent away from the App Store, they’re not perfect. There may just be an app that you trust that is doing something with the data you gave it permission for. Here’s how to manage these privacy settings.

The first and most obvious destination is the Privacy section in Settings. Here, you will see sections for various types of data that apps have requested.

By going to one of these sections, and switching the toggle for that app off, then it will not have access to that data any more. So an app that requests Photos access can have it be restricted. Or, if you initially denied access and wish to grant it, you can now do so from this section.

The Location Services section is particularly worth delving into because not only can the icon appear at random times for no apparent reason, but the section to manage it has many wrinkles that the others do not. One, there are variably-colored location icons next to each service, and they may not be apparent to what they mean until you scroll to the bottom, where iOS explains what each icon means.

What this means is that you can see on this section which apps are currently requesting your location, not just which apps have access to your location. If an app is continually causing the location services icon to appear in the status bar (and potentially draining your battery), you can see which apps are the culprit here. Often times, apps that use location services can have settings disabled from within the app to have their recurring location check disappear, as having loaction access enabled periodically may be key to your usage of the app. As well, the System Services section shows several system functions that use your location, including one for Location-Based iAds that can modify the types of ads you see.

Hopefully these tips have helped you manage your privacy better, and you have a greater understanding of the types of access that iOS apps and system functions have to your data.

Now, there’s one particular advertising-related privacy setting that’s not in Privacy that’s worth considering. Go to SettingsGeneralAbout and scroll all the way down to Advertising. Tap on this, and you’ll see a setting for Limit Ad Tracking. By enabling this, then services that identify your device by the Apple Advertising Identifier cannot track you based on this. This means that advertisements will be less targeted to you.

Create and Use Disposable Phone Numbers on Your iPhone With Burner

Posted by Lisa Caplan on August 16th, 2012
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

While sordid and illicit motives spring to mind when we think of reasons for having a burner cell, the truth is there are dozens of legitimate uses for hiding your iPhone’s real number. Case in point, we all deal with tons of developers and publishers here and sometimes they want to actually speak - like on a telephone, rather than email, IM, Skype, or FaceTime. It’s also useful to have a dedicated and private number  if you are hosting a public event, selling something, or meeting people on the Internet. Whatever your motivation. Burner - Disposable Phone Numbers offers a paid service for iPhone owners that replicates the toss-away cellular phones made famous in every gangster movie and crime TV show of the past several decades.

The app has a one time purchase price, and then you buy burners using credits purchased in-app, the virtual equivalent of disposal cell phones. They add a layer of privacy to your call, displaying whatever caller ID name you want and a useable phone number on the other end. Burners work for texts too. A one-week mini burner good for 20 calls and 60 texts costs $1.99 while $4.99 will get you two months with 75 voice and 225 texts. There are also extension packs and you can add as many burners as you need. If you do online dating, you might want one for that, while you might want another to manage a craigslist help-wanted post.

Once a number is gone, it stays gone, leaving no traces back to you. Just play nice - the possibilities for mayhem-making with this app are endless.

Private Social Networking With Burst

Posted by Jennifer Allen on June 25th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Many people have privacy concerns when it comes to social networks such as Facebook, understandably so, especially when dealing with images of family members such as children.

Burst is the latest app hoping to encourage users away from bigger networks, with a focus on sharing just with close friends and family. The app requires just one touch to capture then store and organize mobile videos and photos. It's then simple to share such moments with the special people in one's life.

Burst can tag and title those moments along with information from the user's calendar with everything securely stored in the cloud.

Users can restrict who views the content and be notified via Push notifications, email or SMS when a family member comments on the images.

For those looking for a more secure social networking app, Burst will prove invaluable.

Burst is out now and it's an Universal app.