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5 Best Mobile Security Apps

Installing one of the best Android antivirus apps on your smartphone or tablet can not only help protect you from malicious apps and other types of malware but can also help keep you safe from becoming a victim of identity theft.

5 Best Mobile Security Apps


Norton Mobile Security, aka Norton 360, offers the best malware protection of any of the Android antivirus apps we tested. Unfortunately, it no longer has anti-theft functions, nor its contacts backups and Link Guard malicious-link blocker.

Norton also killed Norton Mobile Security's free tier, which was the best among all the Android antivirus apps we'd recently tested. That's been replaced with a security-only app for one device that costs $15 a year.

Norton's killer feature is the unique App Advisor, which checks apps on your device for heavy data usage and unusual behavior. It also checks apps in the Google Play store for security and privacy risks even before you install them.

Lookout Mobile Security, now rebranded as Lookout Security and Antivirus or Lookout Personal, was one of the first Android antivirus apps, and for a long time the best. Its ease of use, clean interface and lack of ads explain its continued popularity.

Google Play Protect's best feature is that Google can use it to remotely disable dangerous apps. This stays the case whether you're running third-party antivirus software or not. We recommend you not disable Google Play Protect.

In order to gauge the security protection offered by each of the best Android antivirus apps, we used the latest bimonthly test results from the independent German lab AV-TEST (opens in new tab) which measures how well Android security apps can detect zero-day malware and other threats.

Other highlights include the ability to scan apps to check if they leak sensitive information, and lock them if necessary. McAfee also evaluates the security of any Wi-Fi networks you connect to, and comes with several features to help your phone run better, including a storage cleaner, plus memory and battery booster.

This is a fully cross-platform suite, with support for Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS. Its full-powered no-limits VPN works just fine in Android, as do the cross-platform password management and parental control apps. Other features include a detailed security scan of every Wi-Fi network you join, a check for insecure device settings, and a monitoring system that warns of dangerous links in tests.

While you can still purchase the Avast SecureLine VPN app separately, VPN protection is now built into the main security app, and it comes without limits on bandwidth or server choices. In addition, it includes quite a few features to keep your phone running smoothly and safely. It can free up available RAM, reclaim storage space by deleting junk, and check both the safety and the speed of your Wi-Fi connection. The App Insights feature helps you manage app usage and privacy, and App Lock lets you put your most sensitive apps behind a secondary PIN. Avast can check known data breaches to see if your email shows up, block unwanted calls and texts, tweak settings to reduce power consumption, and more.

In addition to the expected on-demand malware scan and real-time protection, ESET can schedule regular scans. Its numerous additional security features include: Payment Protection, which launches sensitive apps using enhanced security; App Lock, which puts your most important apps behind the protection of a secondary PIN; Security Audit, a scan that identifies apps with the most permissions, as well as security problems such as USB debugging enabled; Network Inspector, which both lists devices on your network and flags any with security problems; and Call Filter, to block unwanted calls and texts.

All these security tools also check your installed apps for potential privacy problems. Typically, they flag programs that have permission to do things like view your contacts, scan your call logs, learn your location, or send texts. If a communication app needs access to contacts, that makes sense. If a goofy game wants to paw through your private info, however, consider deleting it.

Antivirus and antitheft are core components for any Android security app, but some go way beyond the basics. Common bonus features include backup for your contacts and photos, a battery monitor to show which apps are draining your battery life, and a task killer to send those battery hogs packing. Several of the apps warn when you connect to an insecure Wi-Fi network.

As noted, almost all these security tools scan your installed apps and report on those that might be privacy risks. Norton and Trend Micro take that skill to the next level, reporting on apps as you view them in the Play Store, so you can avoid downloading any that might be problematic.

After weeks of testing, I found the 10 best Android antiviruses on the market. All of the apps below performed excellently in my tests, and they can be installed onto almost all Android smartphones and tablets. (Chromebook users can look here for my favorite Chromebook-compatible apps in the Google Play Store).

No wonder then that making smartphones more secure has been on top of the technological advancement agenda lately. Installing an effective mobile phone security app is a basic yet one-stop solution to keep your privacy intact.

The revamped version of the mobile security app from McAfee, McAfee Mobile Security, is as aggressive in terms of virus detection and alerts as its desktop counterpart. Besides offering protection against viruses, spyware and phishing programs, the security app also provides app protection, web protection, anti-theft features, and protection against adware.

This is an all-in-one mobile security app that includes mobile security, antivirus and identity theft protection features. Lookout Mobile Security is considered the most advanced mobile security app in the world.

Its predictive security features detect and stop threats before they cause any harm. It alerts you if a Wi-Fi connection is safe or dangerous. It also keeps your personal information protected by showing the apps that can access your contacts, location, messages, etc.

It also blocks fraud and fake calls efficiently. It allows you to report unwanted calls and texts, so other users can benefit from it. Aside from that, it lets you know if a Wi-Fi network is safe to connect to. This free mobile security app can safeguard your fiber, wireless, and internet devices and data.

Your phone probably has sensitive information on it, so it may be a good idea to install some security software. There is some debate about whether you really need antivirus apps on your smartphone. Much depends on whether you sideload apps, but there is no denying that malware has grown into a much greater concern since we first wrote this article in 2012. Luckily, security apps have improved dramatically to keep pace with the new threats, so you have plenty of great protection to choose from.

If you have a rooted device, then there is also a firewall that allows you to control network traffic. You can block access to Wi-Fi or the network for specific apps, which is handy for security and may potentially save battery life as well.

According to the latest AV-Test report of 20 popular Android security apps from March 2018, Avast is a solid option with a detection rate of the latest Android malware in real time of 99.9 percent, rising to 100 percent for malware discovered in the last four weeks. That puts it near the very top of the charts in terms of malware detection, which, combined with the extra functionality, makes it worth considering. It has a light footprint with no discernible drain on battery life and no impact on general performance. It also returned no false positives.

It offers robust scanning covering installation, existing apps, and storage media. You also get an impressive package of extras including loss and theft protection, with support for wipe, lock, alarm, locate, and more via SMS. There is also web filtering, password protection for apps, spam blocking, privacy and security advice, and a few other tools.

There are plenty of tablets for kids now, with tools to help monitor content and keep track of screen time. Add educational apps, books, and movies to the mix, and you've got a safe and secure device that will help your child to develop. The Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition is our current favorite. Amazon's tablet is durable and comes with a year's subscription to age-appropriate content. But it's not the only option. Read on for the entire lineup of the best tablets for kids in 2023!

MicroSD cards are an unsung hero in the mobile space. They provide extra storage space for your smartphone, but they're also key in tablets, drones, and security cameras. Unfortunately, this feature is falling out of favor in the smartphone space, and most flagship and midrange phones no longer have a slot to insert a microSD card. Even the most expensive phones around, like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and the Samsung S22 Ultra don't have a microSD card slot anymore. You're not even safe if you have an iPhone or iPad, as they've never had microSD card slots.

But all is not lost! Some of the best Android phones and best Android tablets do still support them, and they're still required for use with cameras, security cameras, and drones. But no matter which device you're buying it for, you'll want to get your hands on a microSD card from a reputable brand.

Whether company business is being conducted on a laptop, Android or iPhone, or even a mobile tablet, working remotely increases the likelihood that employees will be conducting business on unsecured networks (like public Wi-Fi to check email) or unaware of the security risks in their working environment.

We've compiled a short list of the 7 key practices we recommend you put in place to keep your mobile devices secure, which is more important than ever with the jaw-dropping rise in cybersecurity crimes, which keeps increasing day by day. ? 041b061a72


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