Are you worried about your online privacy? If you haven’t taken any measures to protect it, yes, you should be. Lucky for you, there is a rapidly growing industry of online security solution providers that would be happy to help you with that problem. These companies offer encrypted communication tools and claim they give you maximum security. Here’s how you should be able to tell apart the encrypted communication providers that you can actually trust.
Look for a legitimately good product
This has to be the most obvious thing you ought to be looking for when buying anything. But what makes an encrypted communications solution good? The rule of thumb is that you want the one with the most limited attack surface. First, you should make yourself familiar with the top threats to online security and privacy, and then see what a particular product is doing to counter them. However, the basic things you should look for are the following:
- Encrypted communications. Everything that goes on and off of your device should be encrypted. This is the 101 of online privacy and security. What a handful of providers sells is only that, but it is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to security.
- Device encryption. When locked, your device should also be encrypted. This way it would be useless to anyone who steals it.
- No location tracking. If a device has this turned on, it hardly has anything to do with security as your movements could be tracked anytime.
- No third-party apps. A device that lets the user install apps freely has a very loose concept of security by design. This is a major red flag. You can’t have Facebook on a phone and consider it secure, sorry.
- No Internet browsing. The Internet basically is what makes a phone a smartphone. But it is also where most malicious software makes its way to your device. If you care about security, do your browsing from a separate device.
The more regular the software updates, the better
A regularly updated app may seem like an imperfect one that just needed a lot of fixes, but it is actually the contrary. Updating your software is crucial to security. The new versions of apps don’t only introduce new features and bug fixes, but also close security loopholes that the provider has been alerted to one way or another since the last version. Having more regular updates means your provider is making an effort to keep up with threats. The opposite would mean the security provided is dated and inefficient.
Does the provider seem shady? Better stay away
Encrypted communications sometimes may seem like something only criminals would need. But this is actually far from the case. There are a handful of good reasons why everyone needs to use encryption, and doing so is definitely not a crime. But what if the company that sells it seems shady? Their website lists little info about who they are, where they are located, the legal framework within which they operate, how their products work? If things seem shady, it could be because the company’s aim is to cater to criminals. You definitely want to stay away from that then. On the other hand, the more info a company provides on its website, the more trustworthy it is. Opt for one that does.
Look for 24/7 support and a knowledge base
Encrypted communications are a specialized service, but a service none the less – and like with all services, clients are entitled to decent support. In case you encounter a problem with your device, you don’t want to be left hanging by a provider that doesn’t offer 24/7 support. We at Secure Group take this very seriously and provide round-the-clock support for our products. Unlike most competitors, we also maintain a full knowledge base for our products, where anyone can read about how to use them and how they work.