When purchasing a new smartphone, many people take into account the basics such as screen size, battery, and camera, but do a little research on the phone’s security. While most modern smartphones today offer features such as fingerprint scanning, remote locking, and wiping and encryption, many of these phones are still vulnerable to attacks. If you really want to keep your information safe, consider purchasing one of these smartphones.
For years, the BlackBerry was the standard device for businesses. Since many companies have shifted to a BYOD (bring your own device) system BlackBerry has struggled to maintain its customer base. To make it more attractive, it has changed from their proprietary OS to Android. And while Android is notoriously insecure, BlackBerry has made some tweaks on what they call the most secure Android phone available – the DTEK50.
While it isn’t the most original phone on the market, it does offer proprietary security you can’t find on other devices. This includes a firewall, modified full disk encryption, secure bootloader, and rapid updates and security fixes. What’s more, it will even notify you if the configuration of your network is insecure and provide an appropriate course of action. With that said, one of the best ways to keep your information safe when connecting to the Internet over public WiFi or LTE is by utilizing a Virtual Private Network (VPN). This adds an additional layer of security and encryption when browsing the web, keeping hackers from attacking your device, and it might still be necessary even when using a relatively secure phone.
If you’re someone who values security over just about everything else, then the Turing Phone is a perfect choice. Unlike other phones, Turing relies on their own Turing Imitation Key – a system that stores and protects security keys offline. This means that if someone tries to communicate with you, they go through a public key, which encrypts your connection. Only the private key stored on your phone can decrypt the message. While it’s hacker-proof for now, it’s unclear how well it will hold up to future generations of hacking tools.
Sadly, security is the only thing going for the phone. It uses an outdated processor and the battery couldn’t make it through a full work day. It also does not run any standard OS, instead
offering their own Sailfish OS. That means it does not have access to the Google Play Store. If you want the latest apps and games, you should probably just consider an Android phone.
iPhone 5s and above
For the general public, the best security option is an iPhone. Unlike Android devices, you cannot normally sideload apps, making it harder for malicious code to find its way onto an iPhone. Additionally, since OS updates are controlled by Apple, not the phone carrier, all iPhones receive updates at the same time, unlike Android where many updates are rolled out at various times.
Apple also includes additional security features to keep it safe from prying eyes such as a six-digit pin, fingerprint scanning, and full-disk encryption. Even with all of this, however, it is still susceptible to attacks especially when connecting to the Internet via public WiFi or cellular networks. It’s high price also means it isn’t accessible to many around the world.
FreedomPop Privacy Phone
Nicknamed the Snowden phone, this revamped Samsung Galaxy S II offers some amazing security features that can keep your information private not only from hackers but from the government as well. While not necessarily the most powerful phone on the market, if you want to stay anonymous this is the way to go. And the company definitely takes anonymity seriously as they allow you to purchase the phone with Bitcoin.
So what can it do? It uses 128-bit encryption for your calls and text messages – the same encryption used by banks and government agencies. How does it do this? Instead of sending the information through cellular voice and text channels it uses VoIP (voice over IP) on WiFi or 3G connection. It also allows for private web browsing as it uses a VPN client to encrypt all traffic on the phone.
Besides this, it also offers fairly straightforward malware protection, firewall and calls blocking features to prevent potential attacks. If this sounds great to you, you should note the FreedomPop Phone is only available to people in a few areas.
If you’re looking for style and security and don’t mind shelling out a bit of money, then Blackphone 2 is one of the best options. Building on the framework of its first phone, this one has additional privacy and security features. The all new Security Center offers an all-in-one solution to set up control over your phone’s features and functionality. As well, there’s now a new Spaces feature that allows you to create safe areas to further personalize options for each app such as what networks they can connect to. And if you’re worried about any physical hacking, the Blackphone 2 has you covered. It automatically encrypts everything one the phone until you unlock it with the correct passcode.
Although it touts being one of the most secure smartphones on the market, the Blackphone 2 offers Google services such as Drive, Gmail, Photos and even the Play Store. That means you don’t need to sacrifice your favorite apps for security. With that said, apps still remain the biggest security issue for Android. Many apps request access to personal data even if it’s not necessary for it to function. Luckily, the Blackphone 2 intercepts these requests and blocks access until you choose whether to allow the app to access this data or not.
Although these phones can improve your security, none of them can provide 100 percent protection. The only way to actually make your phone safe is to limit the way you use your device such as not connecting to public WiFi, not storing personal information and, most importantly, not downloading apps that seem suspicious.
Would you consider purchasing one of these secure smartphones? Tell us in the comments below.
About the Author: Cassie is a freelance technology and security writer. While a secure smartphone can help reduce potential threats, she believes it’s up to people to protect themselves by being smart about the apps they download and sites they visit.
- 4 Smartphones with the Best Security
- It’s Android or Apple for 71 percent of US smartphone users
- Samsung launch three dual SIM smartphones
- Access Your PC Remotely from your Android Mobile
- How to secure My Android device