Lack of privacy and security measures on the devices we use every day make our personal information vulnerable. Hence, we should have baseline protection installed on our smartphones or tablets. That includes updating security software issued by reputed manufacturers. Then you can also get the latest security fixes and patches on your device.
Millions of people worldwide have bought tablets and smartphones running on Google’s Android OS. Malware threats are especially huge on Android devices, compared to others. Read on to know how to choose an antivirus for your Android and what the best anti-virus apps on Google Play Stor are.
Do You Need Antivirus Software For Your Android
Android OS is the prime target for malicious agents and hackers. They can deliver malware onto your mobile through text messages, third-party apps, or even via Google Play. Over the years, Google Android has improved their security. For instance, Google Play Protect, a built-in antivirus, is available on the new versions of Android. However, it is still lacking in some features. And you can improve the protection by getting a mobile antivirus app from reputed sources.
How To Choose An Antivirus for Your Android
Let us have a look at the criteria and features the program offers which you must consider before choosing:
Running regular scans on desktops is easy, without consuming the system resources. But for Android devices, the focus is on strong, passive security. You need an antivirus app with a straightforward user experience that does not require tinkering of the settings.
Android features like filtering for text messages and call blocking have to be available. More importantly, the app must enable location services to track down your Android device. Additionally, remote locking and remotely wiping your data should be the main features.
Free Or Paid Software
If you use multiple Android devices, you can protect using multi-device antivirus packages. Then it means that paid packages are the way to go rather than choosing free antivirus which you can use on a single Android device. Or, you can try out a free version and go for an upgrade.
Benefits Of Paid Antivirus Over Free Apps
Basic Android protection functions will be available on most free security apps. But, you can get an additional level of security with paid upgrades. In general, here are the premium features you get with paid antivirus packages:
Backup Of Data
This feature automatically uploads your personal data to the “cloud”, a storage service online. If you lose your device, your data can be backed up before you remotely wipe it. You can then restore this data onto another compatible device.
Remote Location And Wipe
GPS service can be used to see the location of your lost device, on any web browser. As seen above, you can wipe all the data on your device from a remote location and protect your privacy.
App And SIM Lock
Protect sensitive data, private conversations and certain apps with a password. Restrict who can view the contents of your device by locking the phone.
Remote Lock And Photo
Using a web browser interface or SMS, prevent unauthorized access. Some apps take photos of those who repeatedly enter incorrect PIN or password.
Anti-Phishing And Privacy Advisor
These apps detect when someone is trying to steal your data or warns you about visiting potentially dangerous websites. Any apps you download will be scanned and the antivirus warns you if they seek more permissions.
These mobile security apps use a password to protect themselves. They prevent anyone who is trying to uninstall them or wipe device data or other apps.
Parental Controls And Safe Browsing
Access to certain content on the web will be restricted according to age. Also, these check the website links you click and warn you of danger.
The battery will be optimized by uninstalling apps that consume more battery. The device performance can be improved by clearing junk
Best Antivirus Apps For Your Android Phone
Here are the ones that made it to the list:
1. Kaspersky Internet Security Mobile
Kaspersky mobile is one of the most secure Android antivirus apps, with an easy-to-use interface. Even in the free version, it offers manual scanning of links, apps, and downloads. Real-time protection and control of your data are guaranteed even if your device is lost.
The paid version allows you to automatically perform scans on a schedule. It has call and text filtering and protects your device from phishing scams. If you buy a desktop protection plan with Internet or Total Security, you can add the Android device too.
2. Trend Micro Mobile Security
Although there is no free plan for Trend Micro, you can use it on a trial basis and later upgrade when prompted. But if you buy the Maximum Security which for a maximum of 10 devices, you get Mobile Security.
Even with the free trial version, you get basic protection in malware scanning, theft protection, and pre-install scanning of apps. Performance features like app manager and system help checker are available. “Just a Phone” mode stops all the active processes except the phone’s functionality when the device battery is low.
3. Bitdefender Mobile Security & Antivirus
Bitdefender antivirus offers 14-day free trial version for Android. The free version is good enough, with manual and app scanning and real-time protection.
But the paid variant is available on the mobile if you get Total Security plan on your desktop. You get web protection and anti-theft tools, along with Android Wear integration, App Lock, and Autopilot, a security monitor of your device protection. Depending on your usage patterns and hardware configuration, Autopilot recommends necessary security actions.
4. F-Secure Mobile Security
F-Secure has a 30-day plan for Android antivirus, after which you must upgrade to Safe and Total package. It is a part of a multi-device protection package. Standard malware protection is available to scan your phone data and apps installed. The banking and browsing protection steers you away from malicious banking websites and prevents you from being a victim of pharming.
You can locate, wipe or lock your lost device remotely and manage all your devices in a convenient browser UI.
Control or restrict access on multiple devices with parental features. You can also see your Android phone’s status and take action if it’s lost.
5. Avast Mobile Security
Avast is the best free antivirus there is, especially since it is so accessible. The list of features on the free plan is very long and go beyond basic protection. It offers real-time protection and Wi-Fi network scanning on your Android device. New apps will be automatically scanned before installing. You can track your device’s location, lock it and wipe it remotely.
With Avast Mobile Security Pro upgrade, secretly capturing audio or video in case of theft is available. It also automatically registers your SIM as lost. Other features like SecureLine VPN, come with the upgrade.
Avast is a great budget-friendly option, but if you can shell out a hefty premium, Kaspersky or Bitdefender are the choices to make. For your Android, whichever one you choose from the above list, they are far superior to Google Play Protect.