The best Android security apps to keep your phone and tablet safe

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Around the world there are more than two billion Android phones and tablets used every month. This colossal figure makes the Google-owned operating system the biggest in the world.

Despite the number of devices running Android, only a third of its users will ever use the most recent version. This means many users will miss out on the latest security patches that fix bugs and vulnerabilities.

Even though this will remain the case until Google forces Android users to update their operating systems to the most recent versions, there are ways for all Android device owners to boost their privacy.

The best way to browse privately on an Android device is to use Tor's application. Called Orbot it is a free proxy that uses Tor to encrypt internet traffic then re-reoutes it though computers around the world. The app is available from Android 4.0 upwards, although users with older versions will need to manually download the app from the Guardian Project website.

If there's one simple way to increase your changes of staying safe, it is to change your passwords, though it can get confusing remembering the different passwords to each account. 1Password does the hard work for you by remembering everything. All data is encrypted, so the app keeps the information safe and allows you to sign into your favourite sites with one click.

Should you ever lose your Android device, Find Your Phone is a newish feature on Android. By searching ‘find my phone’ on any Google browser, you can locate your phone, lock and call it, secure your account and leave a callback number on the screen for the person who finds it.

This universal email client allows people to manage an unlimited number of mail accounts from various providers. My Secure Mail keeps all your emails in one place and ensures they are safe using encryption and password-protected sign ins.

If you've never used a VPN before, it is a way to keep all your online activity private by encrytping all the data coming in and out of the device and securing all internet traffic. The NordVPN Android app re-routes and encrypts all internet traffic to make the connection private and secure and is an alternative to Tor's Orbot.

The encrypted messaging and voice-calling app Signal is a sure-fire way to communicate safely on an Android device. It provides end-to-end encryption to secure all communications and the app can also verify the identity of who people are messaging, as well as the integrity of the channels they are using.

Similar to Signal, Tor Messenger is a safe and encrypted way to have private conversations. It's a cross-platform chat app that is secure by default and sends all messages over Tor Network. The ChatSecure app allows you to send communications across Tor.

Source: WIRED UK