Despite the best of intentions that the Android operating system would adhere to strong security standards, significant percentages of Android devices encounter threats and hackers breach Android devices every day. There is adware, which serves up ads on the phones that it gains access to. There is chargeware, which bills you for services without ever warning you or giving you the chance to decline. Premium-rate SMS fraud is a prime example of chargeware, a sort of 21st-century version of the old 1-900 number pay-per-call scams. And as if adware and chargeware were not bad enough, there is still regular old malware, which consists of mobile viruses, Trojan horses, worms and spyware. Even if your phone withstands these attack vectors, you still face the security risk of losing your phone through carelessness, robbery or theft. Anyone who finds or takes your phone could stand to profit mightily by mining your data for credit card numbers, passwords, bank account information and personal identity details. Once they take what they want, they can pop in a new SIM card and either use the phone themselves or sell it to someone else.
So what are we supposed to do? Read articles about antivirus mobile security and consider installing mobile virus protection software such as McAfee Mobile Security Premium, Kaspersky Internet Security for Android and Webroot SecureAnywhere Mobile Premier.
To simplify your selection process, it might be instructive to examine each product, as we do, according to protection, features, usability, and help and support.
The majority of the mobile antivirus apps in our review were put to tests at two respected independent test labs: AV Comparatives and AV Test. The publicly available test results are a useful measurement of how each mobile antivirus software app performs in competition with its peers.
All of the apps in our best antivirus for mobile review include anti-theft features that range from a loud alert to help you find your phone nearby, to a remote tool that locks and wipes your phone while taking pictures of the thief and tracking its location on a map!
Some publishers add features such as parental controls and backup utilities. Obviously if you don’t have children and you back up your Android device data to the cloud, then neither of these features is going to make a difference. More useful, perhaps, are antispam features, which enable you to block a specific person from phoning or messaging you.
In addition to testing how well each mobile phone virus protection app detects and prevents incoming threats, AV Test also examined the usability of each product in terms of its effects on a smartphone’s performance and battery life. Another aspect of the usability testing measured whether an antivirus software for mobile app ever becomes confused into raising an alert about a perfectly legitimate app.
Help & Support
A smartphone is a device that stores enough information about you that it could result in the theft of your identity if you don’t keep it secure. Therefore, access to help and support from the publisher of your cell phone virus protection app is a serious matter. In terms of how a publisher provides customer support access, the ne plus ultra is 24/7 access via live chat.
The ingenuity of the organized underground hacker community short circuits some of the safeguards baked into the Android OS and its app-development ecosystem. Therefore the question is no longer whether to install mobile virus protection software, but which one to install. We trust our product reviews will orient you quickly to the best antivirus for mobile for your situation.