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The Best Security Apps for Your Android Device Android security is a hot topic and for good reason.
With the amount of malware scams on the Google Play Store and the number of security vulnerabilities, companies such as WhatsApp, have taken steps to improve their app. However, these changes cannot protect your whole smartphone. For this reason, the security app market has grown significantly. Not all are created equal, however. Below are some of the best options to keep your Android device safe.
Avast! Mobile Security
Despite being a free app, Avast offers an excellent variety of tools to keep your phone safe from
malware and viruses. The antivirus protection scans apps and provides details on what they are
doing. It also has a web shield to scan sites for potential malware. There are other useful features as well, such as a useful anti-theft component that provides you with remote control of your smartphone. You can also lock individual apps behind a password or pin, which is great for the more sensitive apps, such as banking or social media. For those who have rooted their device, Avast offers a firewall to block WiFi access for specific apps. Not only does this keep your phone more secure, it also saves on battery life as well.
Malwarebytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes built a reputation for themselves as a lightweight yet surprisingly effective protection tool for PC. It would often detect malware more well-known brands, such as Norton, could not find. The Android version follows the same trend. Rather than offering many features, it focuses solely on privacy protection. It offers much of the same features as the PC version, such as:
Scanning malicious code and unwanted programs,
Scanning for security vulnerabilities
Monitoring location-tracking apps
permissions from it.
NoRoot FirewallBy far the most popular firewall app in Google Play and for good reason. It creates a mock Virtual Private Network (VPN) and then directs an app’s traffic through it. This gives you complete control over how and when an app can access the web. Why does this matter? There are a few benefits:
Prevent apps from using up bandwidth
Keep certain apps from accessing public WiFi
permit or deny access and then save this choice for the future. This allows you to control whether
an app can only access internet over WiFi, mobile internet or both. It can also prevent your
calendar, apps and even cloud storage services from syncing or updating until you’re on a more
Signal Private Messenger
messenger apps promise anonymity and security (since they delete the messages after a certain amount of time), using Signal can add an extra layer as it provides end-to- end encryption. It’s also open source, so anyone can audit the code to verify its security. Even better, it uses your phone number and address book, so you don’t have to worry about another login. Like other messenger apps, you can create or enter encrypted group chats, making it a great way to stay in touch with friends while also keeping your conversations private. You can also make phone calls through the app without getting hit with long-distance fees!
CM Security offers a host of security features for free. You get an antivirus scanner, vault and lock feature for photos and apps and remote phone lock and location. What sets CM Security apart is the Intruder Selfie feature. This snaps a picture of anyone who enters the wrong password for your phone twice. That means you could also be on the receiving end of this feature if you tend to forget your password often. You can protect your privacy further with other features, such as call blocking and Safe Browsing to ensure you don’t navigate to potentially malicious sites.
While the free version will still get you top-of- the-line malware protection, you’ll need to pay in if you want real-time, web and anti-phishing protection. Like other malware apps, Kaspersky scans every app immediately when you install it whether it’s from Google Play or sideloaded.
How good is its detection? The AV-Test institute reported the app detected 99.9 percent malicious apps in real-time. Malware isn’t your biggest threat, however. Theft and loss are far the biggest problems most people face. Luckily Kaspersky offers a host of anti-theft features. While you need to activate it, once it is enabled you can remotely control it. For example, you can set off an alarm and lock your screen in a few seconds. Once locked, it makes it very difficult for potential thieves to break in.
If you do pay for the anti-phishing feature, you can rest easy knowing it will block malicious sites. You only need to launch your default browser from within app to enable this feature. Best of all, it now supports Android Wear smartwatches.
There are plenty more apps available that can help protect your smartphone against potential hackers. However, the best protection is yourself. Always pay attention to what permissions an app wants to access and avoid downloading apps from unknown sources. It’s up to you to be vigilant even if you have security apps installed on your phone. How do you keep your phone secure? Do you have any favorite security apps? Let us know in the comments below.