It’s no secret that hackers are constantly attempting to obtain your personal and financial information. While this can create a major headache, it becomes especially important when you’re running your business from a smartphone. According to Kaspersky Security Network, it was discovered that mobile threats from November 2013 to October 2014 included;

  • 4,643,582 malicious installation packets
  • 295,539 new malicious mobile programs
  • 12,100 mobile banking Trojans

Kaspersky is also predicting that “In 2015, we expect to see another stage in the evolution of cyber-criminal activity with the adoption of APT tactics and techniques in financially motivated online criminal activity.”

Likewise, interestingly enough, most employees use apps or emails for business purposes that are not reviewed or approved by their company’s IT team. According to a study by Ciphercloud, 86% of cloud based applications used by employees are unsanctioned by IT.

While there are numerous online threats that can be detrimental to your business, there are numerous apps available that can protect your most precious data. Here are five of those apps that you should investigate if you need protection from online threats.

1. Lookout

Lookout is a free security app that’s available for Android and iOS that protects your device from malware, making sure that every app you download is safe and blocking malicious websites. On top of that Lookout also wipes your valuable data so that no one else can access and backs up your Google contacts/photos to the cloud. The coolest features, however, are the ones that help you recover your phone if lost or stolen. This includes locating your device through a web browser or setting off an alarm if you can’t find it. And, there’s also the very awesome Theftie feature which will send you an alert if someone attempts to access your device and even snap a picture of the person who stole your device.

If you run a larger operation Lookout also has an Enterprise plan which comes with additional features like researching possible threats by using real-time data.

2. Bitglass

Bitglass is another powerful tool that can be used on both desktops and mobile apps. It features a number of security features that range from encrypting data that has been uploaded to the cloud to selective data wiping to tracking business data anywhere online – even if an employee uploads anything to their personal file-sharing services. Bitglass also offers solutions for Google Apps, Office 365, Salesforce, Dropbox and Box.

You can try Bitglass for free for 14 days.

3. NQ Mobile Vault

NQ Mobile Vault can be downloaded at the App Store or Google Play and can be used to encrypt data like photos, texts and contacts, as well securely storing your data in your very own cloud. There’s also a handy app lock feature which locks any app on your device with a password. The private chat feature is another great feature that you can use if you want to avoid discussing important business conversations on public platforms. Like Lookout, NQ Mobile Vault will capture the image of the person who is attempting to login into your device if lost or stolen.

4. LastPass

As a business owner you’re bound to have quite a few passwords to remember. Not only is remembering all of these passwords a challenge, selecting the right passwords – which should always include random characters, numbers and letters – to protect you against hackers is another battle. LastPass, thankfully, makes these challenges easier by safely storing, thanks to its cutting edge 256-bit AES encryption, for all of your passwords in one location.

LastPass offers support for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry devices.

5. HotSpot Shield VPN

Since you’re running your business on your smartphone there should be concern about online surfing. HotSpot Shield VPN is a powerful app that gives you peace of mind since it allows you to surf the web anonymously – which protects your IP address by keeping it hidden. Your sensitive data is also protected through HTTPS encryption and enabling Wi-Fi security. Another useful feature that this app provides is being able to unblock websites by bypassing filters and firewalls.

Android and iOS users can download HotSpot Shield VPN for free, but there is an Elite Version for $5/month.