These days, you can never be too careful. As technology becomes too clever for its own good, we are constantly under threat from increasingly more sophisticated dangers. We upload our photos, share our locations, and chat freely and openly via online messaging apps, with no consideration for the fact that somewhere in cyberspace, our most sensitive data is being stored - leaving us vulnerable to hackers, trolls, fraudsters, and other online predators.
Your mobile is a double-edged sword. While it can perform plenty of life-enhancing, time-saving functions, you have to be aware of its flaws, plus how to protect yourself against the potential risks it exposes you to.
Today we're lining up our favorite personal security apps for Android to help keep you safe while you benefit from all the groovy things your mobile can do.
If you're guilty of keeping note of your passwords with pen and paper, or even - shock horror - saving them in a draft email, then we really couldn't recommend this one more strongly. 1Password is a comprehensive app that generates and saves ultra strong passwords for you.
You can save all kinds of sensitive information, including ID numbers, credit cards, bank accounts, network passwords, and so forth, then copy them directly onto your clipboard when you need to use them. That way, you can keep your really important stuff protected without worrying about forgetting the passwords.
1Password has an excellent design and is highly trusted by millions of users. Basically, it's everything you could want in a one-stop password shop.
Rocket VPN is a comprehensive tool for advanced users that helps you safely and anonymously surf the net, as well as access geographically restricted sites. If you frequently connect to public networks, this app could be your greatest ally.
Connect with just a click and enjoy accessing content anonymously from a variety of different available locations (UK, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Sweden, the US, Singapore, and Japan).
Rocket VPN works flawlessly and provides a great tool for keeping your data protected. The free version limits you to 500MB, but we highly recommend you shell out for the whole hog - you won't regret it.
ES App Locker protects you from nosy parkers who get hold of your device, allowing you to protect selected apps on your phone with a lock pattern. Quick and easy to set up, this app is simple, but most effective.
There's a huge list of apps covered. You just have to mark which you want to protect and specify the pattern (and in turn, a secret question), so that no one can get their mitts on your private info.
If the thought of being parted with your phone, whether through loss or theft, makes you jittery, then Cerberus is going to be your new best friend. Cerberus is a complete anti-theft app that helps you remotely track and recover your device should you ever part ways.
It's packed with all number of tools and features. As well as locating and locking your device and protecting your data, the app also lets you take snaps and record audio to help you identify the thief, and even sound an alarm and display a menacing message to ward them off.
Watch Over Me is an ingenious way to stay safe when you're off somewhere alone. Tell the app how long you want to be "watched over" for, and it'll keep tabs on you via GPS throughout your journey. Once you arrive at your destination, just tap to tell it you're there safe and sound.
If you don't arrive safe, or encounter some kind of emergency on the way, the app immediately sends out a message with your location to your designated list of emergency contacts - via SMS, email, or even Facebook.
Well-designed, quick and easy to set up, and a great idea to help keep you safe and your mind at ease.
Family Locator from Life360 simplifies life in the digital world by making it easy to stay connected to the people who matter most. One of the most popular 'family-trackers' on the market, the app has a simple, clean interface which allows family members to quickly get in contact and share their GPS locations.
With Life360, just open the app and instantly see everyone in your private 'Circle' on the map. You can message the whole group at once or 1:1. There's also a handy panic button, which fires off an emergency email, voicemail, and text message to all family members.
Perfect for parents, this great app keeps your family together, even when you're not.