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November 5, 2013updated 22 Sep 2016 2:21pm

Top 5 Android security apps

The best anti-virus software to keep your device 'madware-free'.

By Ben Sullivan

Following yesterday’s reports of malicious adware being present in 24% of Google Play apps, it should be becoming more apparent to Android users how serious the threat of ‘madware’ is.

Symantec said in the report that the security risks are expected to grow in the Android applications.

"There was a large increase in the number of malicious APKs in the middle of 2012 and again in the second quarter of 2013," the company added.

"The presence of madware on Google Play has grown from 2011 to 2012 and again in the first half of 2013, while the vast majority of third-party app stores host an even greater presence of madware and malware."

"By the end of this year, we can expect one in four free apps available on Google Play to contain madware."

The third-party app stores are said to contain more security risks while just 11% of the total third-party app stores had a lower amount of madware compared to Google Play.

Luckily for us, Google Play is also infested with hordes of decent anti-virus apps, and no Android user should be seen without one.

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So what can you do to protect your Android device from this ever-present but underrated threat?

TrustGo Antivirus & Mobile Security app

An awesome free application, TrustGo does exactly what it says on the tin and protects your Android device from threats like malware and viruses, as well as catering for the identity and data theft side of things.

The application also comes with the ever popular "Find My Phone" feature, which include remote location, lock and alarm.

It includes another feature called "Candid Camera" thief ID.

The next time it catches anybody entering the incorrect password three times; it will capture their photo using your device’s front-facing camera and email it to you. It also offers security while browsing the web.

Some of the features of this app include Security Scanner, Secure App Search andSecure Web Browsing.


AVG AntiVirus

AVG combats viruses and malware, and also provides loss and theft protection through the ability to track and control your smartphone remotely if you should become separated from it.

It is easy to use and works on all versions of Android OS, v2.1 onwards.

One cool feature of AVG is the widget. It allows immediate access to key features of the app directly from your home screen. You can easily customise the widget’s four buttons from nine different useful tools of your choice.



Kaspersky Internet Security

My weapon of choice when it comes to my tablet defense, Kaspersky offers protection from viruses, Internet attacks, identity theft and criminals trying to steal banking or credit card data.

It’s an easy-to-use app that’s optimised to protect both Android smartphones and Android tablets from Internet security threats.

Privacy Protection is a handy feature, with the ability to control what others can see or access when they pick up your smartphone.



Lookout Security & Antivirus app

Lookout Security & Antivirus app comes with features like Security & Antivirus, Find My Phone, Backup & Restore and Safe Browsing. Some premium features of this app include photo & call history backup and restore or transfer data to a new device.

Every app you download first runs through Lookout so it can make sure it’s safe, as well as the app routinely running checkups on my device.

Lookout also backs up your data onto your account online, and with a premium account, you can safe the web safely and securely and also get a privacy advisor function.

My favourite feature of this app, however, is the ‘missing device’ function. If you misplace your device, or it gets stole, you can log in online and see exactly where it is using GPS data. From there you can remotely activate a loud siren that will alert you to where it is (underneath the sofa) and you can also set it up so it takes a snapshot of anyone who tries to unlock it.

Remote wipe is also available, along with a neat feature called Signal Flare that automatically saves your device’s location before running out of battery.



VIRUSfighter Antivirus FREE app

VIRUSfighter Antivirus app for Android devices says it can protect your Android device from malware threats. The application scans installed apps, data and new installations for malware. The free version of the app includes features like regular updates for protection against threats, on-demand scanning and scheduled scanning.



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