Privacy Protecting Apps - read this first
Here are products and services I recommend, many of which I use myself and with my clients. I have vetted each of these products with the following criteria:
Nalini's Value Matrix
In addition to the fundamental criteria above, I analyzed each product or service, mostly apps - for six key areas that indicate great value and ease when using technology. Each app I recommend must provide value in all six of these areas.
- Privacy protection - the app provides data protection and offers thoughtful and meaningful choices to the user regarding privacy settings.
- Convenience - the app does not add more than a couple of extra steps to ensure that your data is private and secure.
- Cost - reasonable for the value. Reasonable means a range of a free limited version to premium versions that cost under $25/month.
- Time investment - can get app up and running without needing to be a "techie".
- Business commitment to privacy and security - the company builds privacy and security by design and they often state their position on privacy on their website and other materials.
- Customer service - you can get help quickly if you need it. The help is clear and the customer support humans are, well, human - warm, courteous and helpful.
ProtonMail - offers iron-clad privacy and security with encrypted email (turns it into unreadable gibberish if you are not the intended recipient). Lots of features. Free and paid versions starting at $5.00 / month or $48.00 / year. Available for the web and mobile, iOS and Android. I use this email service. Company based in Geneva, Switzerland.
KolabNow - offers strong secure email service, based on Swiss data protection laws from a company based in Switzerland. They also offer a productivity suite, including a calendar, task management, documents and more. The email service costs approximately $4.50 / month. You may add the productivity suite for another $5.00 / month. I am currently trying out this service; so far so good.
Canary Mail - for Mac and iOS only. If you want a simple secure email client, i.e. app that lives on your laptop/desktop or iPhone, take a look at Canary Mail. It will work with your existing email accounts and gives you the option of encrypting your email (turns it into unreadable gibberish if you are not the intended recipient) and is a bargain at $20 for the Mac and $10 for your iPhone or iPad.
Cloud Storage & File Sharing
Tresorit - a tresor means a safe in German and Tresorit delivers tremendous value in terms of a feature-rich file storage and sharing system that bakes in iron-clad security and privacy. Unlike other cloud file storage providers, Tresorit encrypts your data from your device before sending up to the cloud. This means no one can access your data in the cloud except you. It is the best cloud file system I have seen. I use this and recommend it highly to both clients and individuals. I am so impressed with the product that I have become a Tresorit reseller.
It is available for Web, Windows, Mac, Linux (for techies out there) and mobile iOS and Android. You get what you pay for and here's what you get with Tresorit:
- You can have more than one level of access to your Tresorit files: your strong password plus another method such as a text verification sent to your phone. Tresorit guarantees that the contents of your files cannot be modified without your knowledge, even if somebody hacks Tresorit's system.
- Your files are encrypted end-to-end and with zero knowledge. This means Tresorit cannot read your files
- You can also grant and revoke access to individual files and folders across any device: computer or mobile. You can sleep at night knowing that even if you lose your phone or laptop - or it gets stolen - you can log in to Tresorit and wipe the remote device.
Tresorit has plans for individuals starting at $10.42 / month for 200GB and $24.00 / month for 2TB for businesses . For a business, Tresorit offers features that combine cloud storage and sharing, cybersecurity, version control and more. If you were to buy these separately, you could easily spend more. As a bonus, you can send a file up to 5GB for free. I work with organizations to set up their business systems with Tresorit. Contact me if you'd like to chat about your needs.
Sync.com - best suited for solopreneurs and personal use. Though not as feature rich as Tresorit and data is stored in Canada, Sync does an excellent job of encryption, file and folder storage and more. You can sign up for your free 5GB account at Sync and give it a try. Pricing starts at $49.00 / year for 200 GB or $96.00 / year for 2 TB for individuals. Business plans start at $120.00 / year for 3 TB. I also use Sync in addition to Tresorit. Note that I do receive compensation for referrals to Sync.com.