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Securing Mobile: Replacement Apps

Securing Mobile: Replacement Apps

See my criteria for this page here.



Your calendar contains all your plans and locations: upcoming dates, shifts at work, events you plan to attend, and more. Using an encrypted calendar can help protect that information from Google, Apple or other third parties.


Please see the “Encrypted email” page for more information on this subject.


Adguard DNS (Android, iOS)

Blokada (Android, iOS) (No free version for iOS)

Lockdown (iOS)

NextDNS (Android, iOS)

Phone firewalls stop apps from contacting unnecessary servers, such as ads and analytics.

Note: You cannot use a VPN and Firewall/Content Blocker at the same time. I recommend using a VPN as your first choice if it fits your threat model.


Please see the “Encrypted Messaging” page for more information on this subject.


Google Maps, Apple Maps, and others record everywhere you go and add that location history to your profile. Using an alternate navigator won’t stop your carrier from tracking your location, but it can help reduce the specific location data that is stored on you and who can collect it.


Google and Apple have access to the files within the stock note-taking app by default. These services protect your notes in such a way that only you can see them while still providing cloud-syncing functionality.


Google, Apple, and other non-encrypted photo storage options can see all your photos. These services provide a way to securely store, manage, and back up your photos between multiple devices safe from the provider’s prying eyes.

Web Browser

Android: Brave or Mull

iOS: Brave, SnowHaze, or hardened Safari

While apps have mostly replaced the browser on mobile, some things are still done through the browser. While less revealing compared to other phone apps, your browser usage still reveals a lot of data about you and should be minimized.


Android: Hypatia (antivirus)

iOS: iVerify (malware detection, setting suggestions)

These are apps that can help improve your privacy and security in various ways. As always, be sure to evaluate your threat model and consider if you need them or not.

I encourage you to remove any unused or infrequenly-used apps from your phone. Mobile apps are both invasive for privacy and a potential way entry point for malware and attackers so the fewer you have, the better. Additionally, if your phone is lost or stolen, having sensitive apps like work email and banking can allow further abuse.