Top apps to keep your Android smartphone safe

31 August 2011

android_appsThe folk at McAfee have done their research and would like to warn everyone with an Android phone that you need to rubber up and stay safe, with attacks on the OS jumping 76 per cent.

Sadly, thanks to an increase in popularity and an ability to tinker with your system, so too comes the threat of people trying to bork your phone.

In addition to the lack of approval process in the Android Marketplace (something that Apple employ), there's an increased risk when downloading apps.

Amazon have noticed this problem in the States, with a marketplace that needs approved apps. However, here in Blighty, it is yet to roll out.

Until that time, there's a whole bunch of ways you can keep your phone that little bit safer and if you click over the jump, we've compiled a bunch of apps that will stop shadowy internet villains from getting one over on you.

Lookout Security & Antivirus

One of the most popular apps on the Android market, this app (download it here) scans your handset for malware, spyware and Trojans, as well as checking all your other apps are safe before you install.

WaveSecure Mobile Security

WaveSecure Mobile Security isn't a free app, but allows you to wipe and lock your phone remotely should someone make off with it. The app also backs up your data and allows you to restore the files to another device.

AVG Anti-Virus Free

You will have no doubt seen this for desktop devices and this is essentially the same thing. The AVG Anti-Virus for Android smartphones protects you from viruses, malware and exploits in real-time. You can also run scans on your data to make sure everything is shipshape.

Norton Mobile Security Lite

This Norton app detects and removes security threats used by cyber-gits to steal your personal info and spam you with nonsense.

Bitdefender Mobile Security

Bitdefender scans your handset for all the usual stuff, as well as allowing you to locate your phone if it gets lost or stolen.

NetQin Anti-virus (Free)

NetQin Anti-virus focuses on helping you to recover a lost/stolen handset. You can track your phone, erase the contents and lock it to prevent anyone from using it who isn't you. Great if you're always losing your stuff.

Any of the above apps may help you prevent information theft, but it's still important that you remain aware of your surroundings when using your phone. The best way to prevent phone theft is to keep your valuable electronics out of sight when you're not using them, and to try not to use them when you are walking outside in the dark alone.

Webroot Mobile Security Basic

Webroot is a free application that blocks and removes malicious apps. It also blocks sites that try and phish you for your details. It can even stop you from getting unwanted phonecalls and texts. Perfect if you have a mental ex who keeps pestering you all the time.

TOPICS:   Technology   Mobile   Privacy   Scams


  • LD
    Bloatware most of the apps quoted. And just look at the rather low download figures for the apps. Used to like Lookout but found after this week's update was switching on my 2G service (can't get 3G) VERY regularly, so it's history.
  • PokeHerPete
    What we really need is McAffe Quickscan.
  • Tweedskin
    Although apps submitted to the Android Marketplace aren't moderated/approved in any way (which is a problem, I agree) every app you download presents you with a list of "Permissions" to show you what it can access. So if you are downloading a wallpaper (for example) that has permission to read your contacts and send text messages......DON'T DOWNLOAD IT. Why does it need these permissions? I agree, there is a problem with malware on the Android OS, but a lot of these can be avoided by users simply looking at what they are downloading. Everything an app can access is shown to you, so if it's accessing something it shouldn't, avoid it.
  • Tim
    But Android is Linux. Linux is totally secure and immune to hacks and viruses. So we're told. ;)
  • Troll
    Whilst not an Anti-Virus program, I highly recommend Prey ( Tracking software for your device (Android, iOS [Mac], Linux, Ubuntu, Windows). Great piece of kit if your device gets nicked.
  • TabletMan
    I hope the Market still remains as open as it is, just download Norton Lite or something if you're worried but always check app permissions.
  • PT
    Vipre by sunbelt is worth a look but only in Beta at the moment - has a lot of the safety and security features on top of anti-malware.
  • chris
    omg they updated market recently - its diabolical!!! over 7-9mb!! , i uninstalled and froze the original market with bloatfreezer , problem solved.

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