There are plenty of “spy” apps on for the iPhone that can be bought for cheap, but are ultimately useless in terms of actual security or monitoring. This list is a collection of more useful apps that can help you to hide yourself online or effectively shield yourself from being noticed in other ways.
As always, the use of these apps should be limited to ethical purposes and not be used to “spy” on other people without their knowledge or consent. When we use the word spy in this context, it’s meant more as a way to describe methods of hiding yourself or protecting your identity in the online world.
1. Onion Browser — This browser uses a network of computers around the world to effectively mask your IP address by giving you a dummy address that can’t be traced back to your location. The network of computers is called theTOR Network and can work effectively with browsers on your phone, or with browsers on your PC or Mac.
2. 5-0 Radio Police Scanner — This police scanner app allows you to hear what’s happening not only locally, but around the world as well. You’ll have a variety of feeds to choose from, including police, fire and train.
3. VPN Express — VPN stands for “virtual private network” and basically means that you can set up your own network, which allows for the sharing of anonymous data like documents, files and encrypted access to network locations.
4. Google Voice — This app gives you a new phone number and allows you to forward both calls and texts to your phone or to the Google Voice app itself, all while keeping your actual phone number completely private.
If you want to mask your actual number from spam sites and marketers, this is a great way to get it done cheaply.
5. Silent Circle — Silent Circle is a community of users that can communicate securely via voice, emails, instant message and SMS text message. The app isn’t free, but the cost is worth it considering that the company is planning to target government organizations.
If the creators of Silent Circle are confident enough to market it to the government, you can bet that it does its job well.
6. Safe — Safe is an app that uses AES-256 encryption methods to keep passwords, photos and other sensitive information safe from hackers and unwanted wandering eyes.
7.Burner — Burner is similar to Google Voice, though with a few twists. Burner provides you with a temporary phone number, which can be forwarded to your real number that it will keep masked. If the dummy number is compromised by spam, it will be “burned” or will expire and generate a new phone number for you.
8. Gliph — When choosing a username, you’ll choose from a series of pictures instead of the typical alpha-numeric characters. Once you have an account, you can communicate with other users securely via email, which provides you with permanent two-way message deletion.
Protecting your Privacy
An app that helps you to maintain a greater level of privacy is quite helpful to us today. While we’re in a world where data and communication is increasingly difficult to protect, we can be thankful that there are still a few ways that we can maintain our privacy and anonymity.
Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer from the Los Angeles area whose writing covers several different topics, including technology, home security and marketing. As a business owner, she values her privacy and utilizes different apps to maintain her business’ most secure information.