As of today, Privacy is something everybody lacks. Thanks to Edward Snowden we no longer live with the myth that governments don’t invade into our privacy without proper procedure. Smartphones are being tracked like never before, the information which we consider to be ours is not only held by us but also by the government organisations.
As for iOS and Android, both the companies Apple and Google have bowed down to the pressure from the White house quite often. The slew of options available on Android have been quite helpful.
Since these apps mainly rely on feeding fake data or restricting access to our info, these apps do require root access. While these can be simply used on any rooted phone, it is always a good option to be on a AOSP(Android Open Source Project) derived ROM like CyanogenMod or Omni ROM.
AOSP Derived ROM’s
Although it is safe to assume no major carrier has anything added into their firmware to track the user, it is safe to switch to a AOSP derived ROM. CyanogenMod has WhisperPush pre-installed for secure SMS. App ops are available on almost all the major ROM’s available. This can be used to restricted access to various apps which want to access the hardware & software of your device.
Anyone who is interested in protecting their privacy would have already heard of the amazing TOR project. TOR Browser has been made available for Android since a long time and there is no reason why you shouldn’t be using it. Use this with caution although because there has been news around for a while suggesting users aren’t secure enough.
XPrivacy (Requires Xposed framework – found in Top 10 Rooted Android Apps)
Anybody who has googled for root would have stumbled across “Xposed”, for those who don’t know it is sideloaded onto a rooted Android device and the app installs the Xposed framework, once it is installed there are plenty of free “Modules” which take advantage of it to get us most of the custom ROM features on stock firmware.
XPrivacy is a Xposed module which is considered to be the Swiss Army Knife of Android privacy protection. You can restrict an app to only be able to access
and see certain accounts on your device, block access to your clipboard (to stop an app from accessing copied data), and even block access to the Internet, both directly, and via the web browser. If there’s something you want to restrict, it’s almost guaranteed XPrivacy can restrict it.
You can check the XPrivacy project on GitHub.
There are plenty more options available but the above would suffice when implemented to effect.