The best iPhone security apps

It may seem a little odd talking about security apps on iPhone and iPad, as iOS is the most secure of mobile operating systems.

New malware samples targeting Android devices account for the overwhelming majority of “in the wild” threats facing mobile users, and Apple is so confident in the security of iOS – partly courtesy of Apple’s “walled garden” approach to app development and partly the sand boxing of iOS itself – that there are simply no antivirus scanners for the iPhone or iPad in the App Store.

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25 of the best iPhone apps

Of course, if your device is “jailbroken” then all bets are off, and the risk/reward balance is something any jailbreaker needs to take into account.

However, none of that means security isn’t required. Here are our top iOS apps to help keep your iPad or iPhone secure – and one you should definitely avoid.

1Password (£12.99)

To be fair, £12.99 is a big ask for an app purchase, but with 1Password you are investing in enhanced password safety for all the sites any systems you use.

That’s quite a statement, but if you’re reusing passwords across sites it only takes a breach at one of them to put all the others at risk of compromise.

That means it’s far better to use a password manager that creates truly strong, complex and unique, passwords for every service. Your password vault is then secured by a single super strong password that you should be able to remember without writing down, as it’s the only one you do have to remember.

1Password comes in Mac and Windows desktop flavours, as well as the iOS client for iPad and iPhone. It’s a local-vault rather than a cloud-synced one, but you can use the Dropbox integration if you want to sync between devices – and there are some compelling arguments as to why the double whammy of 1Password and Dropbox encryption, along with some other technical detail that you can read about at the developer site in the FAQ, makes this a safe practise. It’s not cheap, but it offers essential protection for anyone who takes their password security seriously.


Free Password Generator! (free)

This free app ties in very nicely with 1Password in that it helps create truly strong and complex passwords in a random fashion, rendering them more secure than most people are likely to come up with on their own.

The end results are very complex and tough to remember, but that’s the beauty of a password vault. There’s nothing complex about using the app though: select the password length (up to 128 characters), choose whether you want lower-case, upper-case, numerals, or special characters included and then hit the generate passwords button. It creates a list of ten random passwords; tap one and you can see both the SHA1 and MD5 hashes generated by the string. The password gets copied to the clipboard for pasting and you can email it to yourself for good measure.

Free Password Generator

Google Authenticator (free)

Sticking with the password theme for a moment longer, if you use Google for more than just searching – making use of GMail, for example – then using two-step verification for your account is highly recommended.

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