Best antivirus apps

ASHLEIGH MACRO’s apps will help keep your phone se­cure

Android Advisor - - Contents -

It’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that, like PCs and lap­tops, it’s pos­si­ble to come across viruses and mal­ware on mo­bile de­vices. There are, how­ever, antivirus apps avail­able for An­droid to help make sure your phone or tablet doesn’t get in­fected, so we share our pick of the best here.

Do you need An­droid antivirus?

Un­like Ap­ple de­vices, which only al­low down­loads from the iOS App Store to pro­tect users from bo­gus

apps, An­droid will al­low you to in­stall APK files that could be in­fected with viruses and mal­ware cre­ated by cy­ber­crim­i­nals. There is also less of an ap­proval process for the Google Play Store, so dan­ger­ous apps can make their way onto the store from time to time. And even when they’ve been pulled from Google Play, they can reap­pear.

Phish­ing emails and dodgy ads are im­por­tant to look out for too, so no mat­ter what plat­form you are on, it’s good to have an antivirus pro­gram in­stalled.

Se­cu­rity soft­ware test lab AV-Test has mil­lions of dif­fer­ent pieces of An­droid mal­ware in its data­base – mal­ware that is typ­i­cally used to steal your valu­able per­sonal data from your phone without your knowl­edge. In ad­di­tion to the tra­di­tional pro­tec­tion of­fered by an antivirus app, you might find that the app you choose has fea­tures such as anti-theft to al­low you to lock and/or wipe data from a stolen hand­set, or even take pho­tos or au­dio record­ings of the thieves.

An­other use­ful fea­ture com­monly found in se­cu­rity apps for An­droid is call block­ing. If your phone is con­stantly plagued by nui­sance calls or spam texts, you might be able to block the call­ers so that they don’t in­ter­rupt your day.

Some apps in­clude sched­ulers in their call-block­ing fa­cil­i­ties, so you can di­vert all calls from the of­fice to voice­mail at evenings and week­ends, for ex­am­ple.

Some suites also in­clude app man­agers that al­low you to pass­word pro­tect ac­cess to the web browser – in­valu­able for par­ents who rou­tinely hand their phone over to chil­dren to play games and worry that they might stum­ble onto some­thing they shouldn’t, or run up hor­ren­dous bills by pur­chas­ing apps.

Less use­ful are backup fa­cil­i­ties found in many of these suites. Some merely back up con­tracts, which is gen­er­ally al­ready sup­ported when you sign in with your Google ac­count on an An­droid or iOS de­vice. Oth­ers of­fer a tiny amount of space for stor­ing your pho­tos and files.

If you still need per­suad­ing, an­other rea­son you might opt to in­stall an antivirus app on An­droid is that your phone likely isn’t as up to date in terms of se­cu­rity patches as you think. Se­cu­rity Re­search Labs has pub­lished the re­sults of an in-depth study in which it claims sev­eral big-name ven­dors are guilty of say­ing they’ve rolled out im­por­tant patches when they haven’t – see

The worst of­fend­ers on its list are Alps, TCL, Oppo and ZTE, which it says have missed four or more crit­i­cal and high sever­ity patches on the claimed patch date. With two to four misses are HTC, Black­Berry,

Asus, Fair­phone, LG, Huawei and Len­ovo. With one or two are OnePlus, Wiko, Xiaomi, Nokia, Mo­torola and Honor. Those in the good books with ei­ther zero or just one missed patch are Google, ZUK, LeEco, Sam­sung, Sony and BQ.

Bit­de­fender Mo­bile Se­cu­rity Price: £9.99 from­taab

Avail­able with a 14-day free trial, Bit­de­fender Mo­bile Se­cu­rity man­aged an al­most per­fect score in both real-time mal­ware and dis­cov­ery of mal­ware on An­droid plat­forms dur­ing AV-Test’s Jan­uary 2018 test ( It has anti-theft fea­tures, works with wear­able de­vices, gives you web se­cu­rity along­side a pri­vacy ad­vi­sor and most im­por­tantly has a very ef­fec­tive mal­ware scan­ner. There is also a new

VPN fea­ture avail­able. How­ever, you won’t be able to block calls, backup data or have any parental con­trols.

Nor­ton Mo­bile Se­cu­rity Price: £9.99 per year from

A sec­ond op­tion, also pop­u­lar among PC users, is Nor­ton Mo­bile Se­cu­rity. It scored 100 per­cent in AVTests lat­est re­port, and costs £9.99 for the year. You’ll get your usual antivirus fea­tures as well as con­trols to safe­guard your on­line pri­vacy, lost or stolen de­vice re­cov­ery and some backup ca­pa­bil­i­ties. You can share a sin­gle ac­count with mul­ti­ple de­vices to pro­tect your tablet, too, even if it’s an iPad.

PSafe Price: Free from

Also scor­ing 100 per­cent in AV-Test’s re­port is PSafe. Un­like other prod­ucts in this round-up, PSafe only

makes se­cu­rity soft­ware for mo­bile, so you’ll be get­ting a tool de­signed ex­clu­sively with smart­phone se­cu­rity in mind. It’s free to down­load, and you’ll get anti-hack­ing, app lock, per­for­mance boost­ers and other fea­tures in ad­di­tion to the antivirus pro­tec­tion. The free ver­sion is ad sup­ported, though. If you want to re­move the ads, you’ll need to pay $4.99 per month (around £3.60), re­duced to $1.99 (around £1.40) per month if you com­mit to a year. There’s also the op­tion of the ad-free ver­sion of PSafe that comes with a VPN for $12.99 per month (around £9.30) or $4.99 (£3.60) per month if you opt for a year.

Avast Mo­bile Se­cu­rity Price: Free from

Avast’s Mo­bile Se­cu­rity app for An­droid is com­pletely free, but that hasn’t stopped it from scor­ing very

well in AV-Test’s lat­est re­port. It de­tected 99.9 per­cent of the lat­est An­droid mal­ware in real-time, and 100 per­cent of the lat­est An­droid mal­ware dis­cov­ered in the past four weeks. Ad­di­tional fea­tures in­clude app lock­ing, call block­ing, app per­mis­sions and a fire­wall, so you’ll stay safe from mal­ware, viruses and spy­ing eyes.

Kasper­sky In­ter­net Se­cu­rity for An­droid Price: £9.99 from

An­other op­tion worth con­sid­er­ing is Kasper­sky, which of­fers great mo­bile antivirus too. It scored just be­low 100 per­cent in AV-Test (, at 99.6 per­cent for real-time de­tec­tion and 100 per­cent for the lat­est An­droid mal­ware dis­cov­ered in the past four weeks. It of­fers a huge range of fea­tures in ad­di­tion to the antivirus it­self, in­clud­ing has find my phone, anti-

theft, anti-phish­ing, call blocker and a web fil­ter, too. A free ver­sion is avail­able with lim­ited fea­tures, and the pre­mium ver­sion is £9.99 for the whole pack­age.

Bit­de­fender mo­bile Se­cu­rity


Kasper­sky In­ter­net Se­cu­rity for An­droid

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