As much as you love your android gadget and the awesome functionality it gives you, you have to acknowledge that the platform is security flawed. One of the reasons why android is vulnerable is only because it is an open platform. It takes a robust, dedicated effort to secure an open platform for both developers and users. The increasing popularity of android as a mobile computing OS has also led to an increase in the number of security threats directed the android way, ranging from common malware to identity theft, spy and advanced phishing. Very recently, Google had to remove around 50 malware-infected apps from the android marketplace. As a future preventive measure, Google had to activate a Kill Switch Android App to protect the community from malicious apps masquerading as useful software. This post is all about Android Antivirus Apps – Why you should know about them and why you should own few of them.
Can I Get Virus on My Android Device?
NO. You can’t get a virus on your android gadget the same way you can get one on your computer. Android apps work under a ‘sandboxed’ security mechanism, which essentially places ‘virtual walls’ between the apps and the rest of the device software. The only way an app can share resources or data is by declaring permissions that restrict the actions it can perform on your gadget. This way, it is practically hard for a virus to access data and self-replicate to other devices without user granted permission. Does this mean that you are safe on the platform? Again, NO! There are hundreds, if not thousands, of ill-intended developers out there looking to take advantage of unaware android users by exploiting the platform’s vulnerabilities.
The security backside of the android platform however is not the endgame. Security software developers have engineered a number of amazing mobile security antivirus apps to protect your android phone, phablet or tablet pc from all sorts of threats. And while most of these applications will come for a fee, you can still find free security applications that are more than simply good as far as securing your gadget is concerned. In the next section of this blog post, we examine and take a look at the 5 top android antivirus apps that will build a fortified security wall around your android space!
5. Norton Security Antivirus
The Free Norton Security Lite is a great way to protect your android phone or tablet from identity theft, malwares and viruses. With this top android antivirus app, you can easily and effectively scan your other applications, microSD storage and more so new app downloads (and updates) for viruses and malware. Additionally, this antivirus and security app will allow you to locate your phone if it is stolen. Here are some of the features offered by this Android Antivirus App:
- Protects multiple android phones, phablets or tablets.
- The remote locate facility enables you to find your android gadget in case it’s lost or stolen.
- Easily lock your android phone or tablet pc by activating a command through SMS.
- Easily manage the security for all your computing gadgets through the Norton website.
- Scan your phone for malicious apps or updates and remove them completely.
- Promptly spot new threats that may affect your android device – made possible through information shared by scores of users who are part of the Norton community.
This android antivirus app also comes with an option to upgrade for additional features in the full version. Currently, upgrades to the full version are going for only $29, with the addition of the following capabilities:
- When your android phone is lost or stolen, you can easily wipe all data or lock the whole gadget.
- Allows you to remotely erase any information on your stolen phone for privacy protection purposes.
- Initiate a ‘scream’ alarm to promptly locate your lost android smartphone. This feature is not available in Korea and Germany.
- Send a custom text notification to whoever is in possession of your android phone.
- Block any undesired calls and/or text messages.
- Synchronize and maintain your contacts across all your computing devices.
- Gives you the ability to automatically disable (lock) your android device if at all the SIM card is plucked out.
Currently reviewed at an average of 4.5 by over 115, 000 users, this top android antivirus app is perhaps something you’d want to have installed on your device.
4. Dr. Web Anti-Virus Light
Dr. Web for Android Light Basic protection from viruses ranks number four in our review of the five top android antivirus apps. This antivirus app protects your android gadget in a number of ways. Here are some of its main features:
- Quick or full time scanning, also allows custom scanning of files specified by the user
- Detects new, unknown malware using the unique origins Tracing TM Technology
- Protects the SD card from becoming infected with autorun and Exploit.Cpllnk files – which can be dangerous for android phones connected to windows PC
- Provides a quarantine where detected threats are moved and from which you can restore any file
- Small-sized virus database updates to save on traffic, which is specifically important to users with limited mobile phone plans
- Handy and useful desktop widgets to easily access the information
- Statistics on detected threats and actions performed
- Careful use of battery resources
Although a classic, useful antivirus, Dr. Web Light does not however offer anti-spam, anti-theft and cloud checker functionalities. To get full protection from all types of malware, download the Dr. Web for Android (comprehensive protection) for an annual fee.
3. Lookout Security & Antivirus
Lookout security is a top android antivirus app by Lookout Mobile Security. This android antivirus app offers essential protection against all the bad stuff that can happen to your phone or tablet PC, including all sorts of malware and viruses, theft, and loss.
Lookout is a FREE antivirus software, but for more comprehensive protection, you may need to pay for an upgrade to the Lookout Premium.
More than 30 million android users are using the lookout antivirus to secure their android phones and tablets. Also ranked highly by various android security reviewers, including PC Magazine, TechCrunch and PCWorld, Lookout is perhaps the one application you’ll want to have on your device. Here are some of its main features:
- Security & Antivirus – protects you from all the bad stuff
- Detects and removes viruses and spyware
- Scans every number you call, and tells you if dialing that number might result to unintended consequences like wiping your phone
- Blocks dangerous URLs that may be used to steal your private information like logins and passwords
- Allows you to see all the data that your apps can access with Privacy Advisor
- Find My Phone – provides various mechanisms to help you find your phone if at all it gets stolen. This feature makes use of Google maps, Alarm Screaming and GPS tracking
- Backup & Restore – allows you to easily backup the things you cherish on your phone for those ‘just in case’ moments
2. Avast Mobile Security & Antivirus
With an average rating of 4.7 on the android marketplace, Avast Mobile Security and Antivirus ranks number two among the top android antivirus apps. Avast! Mobile Security keeps you android phone or Tablet PC safe from viruses, malware, and spyware. This antivirus app also helps you locate your phone in case it gets stolen with Avast’s web based phone locate feature.
Ranked top by android authorities and used by millions of users, avast free antivirus app for mobile offers the following features:
- Scans installed apps for malware
- Helps you understand your apps access rights and intentions with advanced Privacy Report
- Makes possible safe mobile web surfing with the Web Shield, which looks malware-infected links and even USSD numbers with the ability to wipe your device memory
- SMS and file scanning for complete mobile security
- Find your lost phone, control it remotely via SMS or a web-based interface, and get notification after a ‘SIM card change
Available in multiple languages and offering scores of amazing security features, Avast Mobile Security is truly a great android antivirus app!
1. AVG Free Antivirus
AVG Antivirus ranks number ONE in our review of the top android antivirus apps, with an average rating of 4.5 and used by over 70 million users. AVG Antivirus Security is a completely FREE, real-time antivirus and anti-theft protection for android that offers the following features:
- Apps and files scanning
- Enables locating your lost phone via Google Maps
- Kill tasks that slow your phone
- Browse the web safely and securely
- Lock/wipe your device to protect your privacy
- Monitor storage, battery and data package usage
With the AVG antivirus for android, you’ll receive one of the most effective, easy-to-use virus and malware protection, as well as a real-time app scanner, phone locator, app locker, task killer and device wipe. AVG can also detect insecure device settings, and isolate unsafe text messages, contacts or bookmarks.
This antivirus app is totally free, but if you want the call and Message blocker, you’ll have to pay for an additional feature. If your device is unsecured, there is every reason why you should consider AVG as your first line of defense against all forms of malwares!
Regardless of how important or not you think the security of your android phone or tablet PC is, you should always have a cool, effective antivirus app protecting you from malware and ensuring your privacy. You don’t want to wait until some mustached hacker accesses your private data and uses it against you. If you are on a budget, you can go for free android antivirus app, but if you want some of the more advanced features you’ll have to pay with few bucks. Usually, we’d recommend that you go for an antivirus app that also offers effective anti-theft protection so that you can easily locate your android phone if at all you lose it. Nonetheless, your ideas or contributions are also welcome on the space below.