The Best Android Antivirus Software

By: Eddie Nudel

Many people believe that Android devices don’t need antivirus software. In some ways, they are correct; these devices are not at risk from traditional computer viruses because they are designed in a different way. However, Android users are still highly susceptible – perhaps increasingly so – to problems caused by malware, usually from untrustworthy applications that have been downloaded to the device.

Most of the malware targeting Androids aims at stealing identity information. Some malware may also try to send SMS messages from your phone to premium rate numbers. The good news is that malware will not spread by itself; it has to be “invited” onto the device by its user. The bad news is that malware writers are employing increasingly sophisticated techniques. Apps may be free from malware when installed, but download malware when they update. “Clone” apps may also be cleverly designed to appear identical to authentic apps to trick you into downloading them. As a result, it is well worth looking into the antivirus options available for your Android device.

Hackers may also try to access your device through unprotected Wi-Fi to steal information. Walking around with a smartphone in your pocket is like having your wallet, id, bank account details, address book and diary all ripe for the picking. Why take the chance of leaving your phone open to everyone?

What to Look for in a Package

Since malware is just one of a number of security threats to your device, software that is purely antivirus is not necessarily worth installing on your phone. You should be looking for a well-rounded security package that includes antivirus software alongside other features, such as backup (so that all the important data contained on your phone exists elsewhere as well), and remote wiping (so that if your device gets stolen you are able to prevent the thief from accessing your information). 

Three Recommended Options

1. McAfee Free AntiVirus & Security

A trusted app that has been in the industry for decades, this app is completely free and includes a wide range of features. Its protective measures include antivirus, anti-malware and protected browsing. McAfee also has a number of anti-theft features including a lock down that will actually lock your phone if someone attempts to tamper with the software. It is very reliable, with a 100% detection rate and allows for app locking and call blocking.

2. AVG Antivirus Security

This app has a free version, but the upgraded paid version will deliver a lot of important features such as SIM locking in case of theft, app locks for parental control and app backup in the event of an attack. AVG antivirus security has a strong anti-theft protection, anti-phishing, anti-malware and antivirus and a slew of features that would make any hacker blush. In addition to these stats, more than 100 million users can’t be wrong.

3. ESET Mobile Security & Antivirus

ESET has gained popularity at an alarming speed, and it is because of a combination of benefits. Their pricing is highly competitive, they hold an impressive 99.7% detection rate and even offer a mobile security training course – that’s a huge plus. ESET also has a few features that are unique to its software. It will automatically scan new files when you download them, catching any malicious software immediately. ESET also offers tablet integration, an unusual feature for a mobile security app.

Anxious about harming your phone with dangerous downloads? Take a look at some important safety guidelines before making any decisions.

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