We received a user question this week:
How do you keep your smart phone
from being tracked? – Andre E.
Great question, Andre. This is the probably the issue that changes fastest, and we are in the process of updating the Patriot Privacy Kit with this information as we speak. Here are some quick tips to keep your phone safe from tracking and spying, as well as some practical stuff for keeping your phone safe in general.
- For simple antivirus and antispyware, you can’t beat Lookout, available in Android and Apple. Its free for most versions, and I have used this app to track the phone when I left it in an airport. There is a $3/month option you can get that will wipe your phone remotely too should it be ceased. InTheClear will do this too and alert your friends you are in trouble.
- Carbonite has a similar program to Lookout, but Carbonite will also back up your phone’s videos, photos, and text messages. Its inexpensive but priceless if you have important family mementos on your phone.
- The best option for keeping your communications private is called Silent Circle. The maker notes that ‘Governments are nervous’ about their offerings. Basically it encrypts your messages but the recipient has to have it too. Plus its $120 per year. It works great, but not cheap.
- Check out Whisper Systems free options for encrypting communications here: https://whispersystems.org/. I have not tried them yet.
- Orbot for Android lets you browse the internet anonymously on your phone, much like TOR browser does on your computer. DuckDuckgo, which we’ve spoken about before for secure searching on your desktop, has an app as well.
- To disable tracking on your phone, so that other’s can’t find you, you’ll need to dig in a little deeper. Lifehacker actually did a pretty good job with this a while back:http://lifehacker.com/5854315/how-to-stop-your-smartphone-from-tracking-your-every-move. Remember if you lose your phone you won’t be able to track it.
But the best bet if you are really trying not to be tracked is to use a John Phone http://www.johnsphones.com/, and ditch the smart phone. I bet a lot of smart phone users in our age bracket would tell you to do the same. As convenient as they are, life is much simpler with a basic cell phone and leave all the browsing and texting for the kids.
Chris Peterson, The Privacy Guy