Your phone probably has sensitive information on it, so it may be a good idea to install some security software on it. There’s some debate about whether you really need antivirus apps on your smartphone. Security apps have improved dramatically to keep pace with the new threats, so you have plenty of great protection to choose from.
Avast Mobile Security
Avast Mobile Security is the world’s most trusted free antivirus app for Android. As a genuinely free app for the Android platform, Avast Antivirus & Security offers an impressive range of tools. It has antivirus protection, it scans your apps to provide details on what they are doing, and it has a web shield that scans URLs for malware.
The free version of this Android security app provides a decent range of features, keeps you safe from malware, and offers extra protection for rooted devices, making it a strong contender. If you’re looking for a security solution for your Android smartphone, and your primary concern is malware and safe browsing, then this could be the right app for you.
AVL is a former winner of the AV-Test (a well-respected independent antivirus testing outfit) award for best protection of mobile devices. Its features include not only an antivirus database (of course) but a scanner capable of detecting any kind of executable file making its way onto your device.
Other handy features include a call blocker to prevent malicious numbers from contacting you, as well as an anti-phishing feature to stop harmful websites from loading in the first place. The app is also designed to be light on resources, which is always handy when you’re struggling for battery life.
Bitdefender Antivirus Free is perhaps the lightest, most unobtrusive option on this list. It has exactly two features which is to scan and clean your device and then it offers real-time antivirus protection on top of that. The real-time protection scans apps as they are installed. It also keeps an eye on what apps are doing. The scanning is simple and only takes a few moments to get everything done. This is technically an offshoot of Bitdefender’s much larger antivirus suite, but we found that we loved that there is an option that requires zero configuration and runs as light as this one does.
Avira Antivirus Security
With a consistently high detection rate and no false positives, you can trust the free version of Avira to keep your Android smartphone or tablet safe. It has a light footprint in terms of performance and a sleek, minimalist design that fits in well with the Android platform.
Avira allows you to scan apps for potential trouble and it scans new apps or updates automatically. It slipped a little in the latest malware detection results from AV-Test, scoring 98.9 percent for real-time malware and 99.8 percent for the last four weeks, but it does also offer a lot of extras. There’s the usual batch of anti-theft tools, to help you find your device remotely, lock it, wipe it, or trigger an alarm. There’s also an identity safeguard tool that can tell you whether your email account or the email addresses of your friends have been leaked or compromised. A decent range of blacklisting options rounds off this app, so you can block problem callers or nuisance spam.
There is a premium version that adds anti-phishing, more regular updates, and better support, but the free version covers enough bases for most people.
360 Security – Antivirus Boost
360 Security is one of the most popular and highly rated antivirus Android apps available right now with over 100 million downloads and 10 million ratings resulting in a 4.6 overall rating. That’s pretty good. This antivirus and anti-malware app comes with a ton of features, including the ability to scan your device files for malware, scan your apps and games, enable real-time protection, and even comes with an anti-theft feature. You can also use the app’s built in cleaner and booster service if you want, but the validity of those types of features aren’t particularly substantiated. Perhaps the most useful feature for this one is an app lock that lets you password protect any app on your device which is great for keeping nosy people away. The best part? It’s completely and totally free.