Maybe you’re among the millions of Android users who aren’t running some kind of antivirus / anti-malware app on their smartphones or tablets. If so, you are putting yourself at risk of losing personal information and more to infections caused by corrupted apps, Trojan horses, and more. Read on before installing the nearest antivirus app, though, because not all are created equal.
1. AVG AntiVirus Security
If you recognize AVG, it’s probably because this antivirus software has been around the block a time or two. It is a well-known player in the PC antivirus arena, and it offers quite a robust menu of options including real-time protection, frequent antivirus database updates, anti-theft features, device scanning, and more, including remote data wiping in the event your device is ever lost or stolen. AVG AntiVirus Security is easy to use and a “light” version is available as a free download. Many of the best features come at a price, which can be paid monthly or annually. Most users provide good ratings, and a few complain that the dashboard could be more user-friendly.
2. PSafe DFNDR
Latin America’s biggest mobile app developer, PSafe has more than 20 million users in Brazil alone, and is becoming more popular with users in the United States. Although this antivirus protection comes from a relative newcomer, it offers a number of impressive features all contained inside one app. Security, privacy, and even performance issues are addressed, keeping users’ devices clean, protected, and optimized. PSafe DFNDR is free, and it comes with some upgrades including an intruder selfie that takes photos of anyone who steals your phone, a battery saver, and a feature that notifies you of viruses and scams caused by fake news stories on Facebook. Most users provide excellent ratings, with a few complaining that the built-in CPU cooler doesn’t work as quickly or effectively as they’d like it to.
Bitdefender antivirus comes in two versions, free and paid. The free version is very popular, with quick scanning and device cleaning, plus real-time antivirus protection. You can get more features with the heavier paid version, but some users complain that this slows down device performance and could use a better interface. People seem to like the free version more, perhaps because it doesn’t cost anything to install, but more likely because it is quick, basic, and very easy to use.
4. Dr. Web Security Space
Users must pay for Dr. Web’s services, but this security suite is a robust one that offers good protection. Inside Dr. Web Security Space, there are two kinds of scans, real-time protection, an anti-spam feature, and several anti-theft features including custom remote messages, remote wiping, and more. The app even provides real-time protection for external SD cards. Users give this app good ratings, but some complain about the cost.
Kaspersky is a well-known name in antivirus software for PCs and Android devices alike. Although this software comes at a price, it provides malware detection, offers anti-theft functions, and even supports the latest Android smartwatches. Like the other antivirus apps mentioned here, it gets good ratings from users, with a few complaining about the interface having an outdated or clunky look and feel.
One final tip: Whether you choose to use an antivirus app or not, be sure that you keep your device updated. Outdated phones and tablets are wide-open targets for threats that the latest updates prevent. True, it can take a few minutes to install an update, but your device will be far safer when you do.