According to cyber security companies, nearly 100% of mobile malware is found on Android phones. And indeed, with so many people online using their droids to surf the web, shop, and share moments and data from their personal life, it's hardly surprising that the platform is ripe with malicios adverts and apps targeting unsuspecting users. Despite Google's best efforts in securing the operating system, no code can be one hundred percent bulletproof. Which is why everyone can benefit from installing an antivirus or security app and get themselves some peace of mind.
There are many choices for cyber security apps, and the top-rated ones mostly come from companies with long years of experience in securing desktop operating systems. That's just a fancier way of saying that whatever antivirus or firewall app you're using on your personal computer, chances are you will find a version of it developed from the ground-up for smartphones and tablets. Most of the time, the applications are completely free as well, which makes installing them all the more inviting!
So here they are, five top-shelf Android security apps by reputable companies which you can use to protect your device and data from malicious code, intrusion attempts, fishing, app privilege abuse, and other cyber baddies – for free.
CM Security prides itself on an antivirus system powered by both local and cloud engines that's repeatedly ranked first in tests carried out by AV-TEST and AV-Comparatives. It's able to fix system vulnerabilities and scan apps, file systems, and websites to ensure your device's safety and privacy in real-time. It has an AppLock and Vault functionalities too, letting you lock your photos, gallery and messages from unwanted eyes and prevent your children from spending on apps and games. It also has a "Find My Phone" tool that lets you locate your phone on a map, make the device "yell" to find it, or lock the device to protect your privacy. It can also scan external SD cards to detect and delete threats, prevent harm by real-time scanning of new applications and updates, carry out scheduled scanning for passive security, prevent harassment by blocking unwanted phone calls, and block malicious websites to protect from phishing.
2. Avast Mobile Security
Avast Mobile Security is another reliable defender against infected files, unwanted privacy phishing, malware, spyware, and viruses. The latest version contains features previously reserved for subscribers that have now become completely free. Avast's antivirus engine automatically scans for infected apps, trojans, and new apps upon first use. It also includes web & file scanning for complete mobile protection, provides insights about installed apps' access rights, ad network integrations, and permissions, blocks numbers, scans and blocks malware-infected sites, and even handles USSD numbers that are particularly dangerous, as they have the ability to wipe your device's memory.
3. NoRoot Firewall
NoRoot Firewall isn't as slick as the other security solutions listed here, but it serves its purpose well. Unlike other apps that require root privileges (rooting your device means losing its warranty) to do the same things, this firewall delivers host name/domain name filtering, fine-grained access control, and requires no suspicious permissions such as location and phone number data. All of that is combined in a simple interface.
NoRoot Firewall protects your personal information from being sent to the Internet without your consent. It notifies you when an app demands access, and all you have to do is press the Allow or Deny button. You can also allow or deny only specific connections of a particular app.
4. Kaspersky Internet Security
Kaspersky Labs' award-winning security application is available on mobile devices, too. It protects the private and sensitive information stored on your smartphones and tablets against any mobile threats, viruses, spyware, trojans and intrusions. Focused on web protection but also featuring capable file scan, Kaspersky Internet Security blocks malicious websites while you surf the Web. It also contains tools for remotely controlling your device in the event it gets lost or stolen. The app is also able to filter unwanted calls and messages, and to hide personal communication.
Kaspersky is also present on Android Wear smartwatches with the ability to display notifications, send commands, or listen for voice control. Users can trigger the alarm to find a lost phone, run a scan for Android malware, and get protection status updates right on the watch face. One can also do the same from the My Kaspersky web portal.
KIS for Android is presented in Premium and Free versions. Users can preview the premium functionality for a 30-day trial period, and continue using the free version after it expires. Premium features include automatic real-time protection, web protection, and Privacy Protection to control what others can see and access when they pick up your phone. Kaspersky's competitors offer many of the same features for free, so the app will have to do a fine job in convincing you that the premium subscription is worth it.
5. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
Malwarebytes's famous anti-malware app is up on Android too, taking care of trojans, malicious code, potentially unwanted programs, links to malicious websites in incoming text messages, apps tracking location without your consent, and other security vulnerabilities. Anti-Malware Mobile identifies what your applications are doing, and what private information is being accessed. It also lets you 'close' potential security holes with suggestions given by the app. It also features both real-time and on-demand protection, scans native storage and SD card (complete with scheduled automatic scans), breaks down apps' access privileges by category, and handles many other aspects of app-related mobile security.