Top 5 home and smartphone security apps
By Jessica Socheski, 27 Feb 2014
Whether you’re browsing the Internet at a local pub or just locking up your house for the night, security is a top priority in many everyday situations. But despite alarms and spyware scanners, it sometimes seems difficult to know which safety measures are truly effective and really making a difference. If you are concerned about protecting your home and privacy, then here are five security apps to keep your home and mobile devices under lock and key.
1. Spyware Shield
Features: Real time security notifications, auto detection, updates every two weeks
Though numerous apps scan for malicious spyware, viruses and other malware, Spyware Shield is rated at five stars because it provides security without slowing down your device to look for it. This app only uses minimum battery power with a small file size to free up your phone or tablet. It uses auto detection to scan apps and system apps for suspicious activity, including:
- Pop up ads
- Location tracking
- Wasted cache memory
- Slow device performance
- Data collection
- Website tracking
- Steal account passwords
- Facebook tracking
The app scans within seconds and provides concise explanations about any potential dangers found.
Available on: Android and Kindle
Features: Computer becomes personal surveillance camera
Working with a user’s personal computer, iSentry turns home computer camera web cams into a complete surveillance system. Users should point the camera to the location they want to keep tabs on (whether it’s to ensure their kids are actually doing their homework, to see if the cat is the culprit stealing food from the counter, or for break-in security). And when there is any motion, the app will notify the user’s phone.
Via this app you can snap photos from the video stream, as well as watch a live video feed of any activity going on around your home.
Available on: iPhone and iPad
3. App Lock
Features: Protect specific apps from use by other people
Sometimes phone owners feel more worried about their small children or pesky younger brother hacking into their devices. If you need to protect specific apps from public use, then App lock is a perfect download to try. Available for free on Amazon, App Lock serves as a security tool by allowing you to lock specific applications with either a private password or lock pattern.
This helps ensure that important apps remain personal and protects your privacy. App Lock also makes it more difficult for hackers to mess with your phone because it can create specific security checks for any part of your phone such as:
- Image gallery
- Contacts list
- Phone dialer (which might help you make fewer calls by mistake)
- Internet and files browsers
- Social networks accounts
- Any installed application
Available on: Android
Price: Free app with purchase of Dropcam camera
Features: Camera links to phone
Once a Dropcam camera is purchased, this app can link any iPhone or iPad device to the camera. Upon activation, the camera’s live feed can be sent directly to the phone, or recorded and saved for later. One of the most important features is its two-way sound ability. Users can talk to whoever is in the room, distract burglars, and calm down animals. Lastly, the video stream can be shared with friends and family, so everyone can look out for one another.
Available on: iPhone and iPad
5. AtHome Video Streamer
Features: Uses an old smartphone for home surveillance
Enthusiastic about new technology, many smartphone users upgrade to the newest version of their Android phone or iPhone as soon as it hits the market. But while you might be busy admiring the new features on your new smartphone, your older, dust-collecting phone has some easily-activated security features of its own.
Why not turn your old phone into a home security camera that you can monitor from your new device? Using an old smartphone to stage your own video security surveillance system is a fantastic way to reuse and recycle while protecting your home.
With the right app such as AtHome Video Streamer, this repurposing of used technology proves easier than you might think.
Available on: iPhone, iPad, Android and Smart TV
About the author: Jessica Socheski is a freelance writer and tech enthusiast who is passionate about discovering fun and smart new apps. She is also an editor at The Teaching Box and can be found on Twitter @JessicaSocheski.
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