There’s mounting evidence that the NSA has been collecting every text, phone call, etc (although they allegedly need a court order to use it). But here are some things you can do to keep your private conversations more private.
Put your phone into airplane mode while playing games. Most games don't need an Internet connection to run, but their ad networks do. Killing the connection will block ads from displaying and stop the transmission of your personal data, both by the game and by third-party ads. Airplane mode may also help your game run a little more smoothly as the processor stops trying to load ads.
Don't post on social media accounts while connected to cellular data networks. Instead, wait until you're connected to your secure, password-protected home or workplace Wi-Fi network. Better yet, don't post to social media accounts from your smartphone at all. Wait until you're seated at a desktop or laptop PC and connected to the social-media service via a secure HTTPS connection.
- Install HTTPS Everywhere. HTTPS Everywhere is a browser plugin for Firefox, Chrome and Opera desktop browsers provided free by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. There's no smartphone equivalent yet, but if a website, such as Facebook or Twitter, is capable of securely connecting to your computer, HTTPS Everywhere will make sure it does.
- Turn off Wi-Fi, GPS and geolocation on your phone. Wi-Fi, GPS and geolocation can all be used to quickly pinpoint your location. Don't use them until you absolutely need them. You may have to go into each app's settings to turn off geolocation, but start with apps capable of taking photos. If you do all that, spies and hackers won't be able to use app data to tell where you are, or where you've been.
- Turn off cellular data connections. If you don't need to receive constant email updates when on the go, turn off cellular data and go online only when connected to a secure, password-protected Wi-Fi network. You'll still be able to get text messages and voice calls, and your battery life will probably improve.
- Get rid of the smartphone. No, seriously. If you want to go to extremes, downgrade to a 2007-era "dumb" phone. All cellphones are tracking devices, but it's a lot more work for spies to get location data and personal information out of something that can't run Facebook or play "Angry Birds".