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Play Store is not the safest place for apps lately. A quick Google search for “Play Store Malware” will give you a taste of some of the malicious apps making their way to the official app store. Google is aware of the issue and is trying to fix it, but their new Play Protect program isn’t a success, so you’ll have to look elsewhere.
As with Microsoft Windows, the need for antivirus software is discussed. Both operating systems have built-in antivirus protection, which, while adequate, isn’t the best. In fact, independent testing has shown that Google’s offering offers significantly below-average security.
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Many third-party applications offer much more than just virus protection. In addition to having much better virus detection speeds than the built-in antivirus solution, these applications act more like security packages that provide all the features of Play Protect and more. By offering so many features, antivirus programs have shifted from gimmicks to useful ones.
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As you can see in the chart above, these are the key antivirus features we looked at when listing the four finalists.
Malware that doesn’t let anything slip through the cracks. As such, our first requirement was a 100% detection rate for both real-time scanning and scanning over four weeks, based on AV-Test.org data.
Almost as important as the detection rate is how often false positive results occurred. False positives are when antivirus warns you about malware that doesn’t exist. Security software that can produce false positive results undermines user trust. Therefore, we only considered applications that had no false alarms based on AV-Test.org testing.
Another important requirement is complete anti-theft. Our phones face dangers from both far and near Actors. Thieves can steal your phone and direct access steals your information. As a security software, it should protect you from all threats. That’s why we felt it necessary to include anti-theft options, including remote wipe, remote lock, and tracking capabilities, in our recommended picks.
Study: These Are The Best Android Antivirus For Home And Business Use / Digital Information World
One criticism of antivirus protection is that it slows down your device and consumes a lot of battery. As a result, many users have opted out to avoid these issues. AV-Test.org tested every application on our list and assessed its impact on battery life and performance as part of the testing process. Not all applications on our list are effective.
Finally, we are looking for a clean design and additional features that will enhance the functionality of our security software. For example, adding an application cleaner is not a security-enhancing feature, but really
It’s pretty amazing that the only truly free security suite on our list is actually the best option. It easily offers the most features, 100% detection speed, and a user-friendly interface, all for the low price of $0.00. Sophos Mobile Security provides its users with all the tools they need to keep their mobile experience as secure as possible without an annual subscription.
Sophos offers real-time virus protection and the ability to schedule automatic scans. While Sophos doesn’t allow users to pre-scan applications, its 100% detection rate isolates all malware and warns you before major damage occurs to your device.
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Sophos can provide additional protection for other applications by requiring a passcode (or fingerprint) to access the application repository. Known as app protection, it keeps your apps (and their data) safe, even on the rare occasions when you need to let someone else use your phone. You can even manage additional time for authentication. This is a great security feature if your device is not always in your possession, and a much more reliable option compared to other applications that offer this feature.
What makes Sophos unique is the extra features known as “Security Tools” that improve your overall security, even though they may not be related to antivirus protection. For example, Sophos is the only application on our list that includes a two-step authenticator. Combine this with password management (another unique feature) and your online accounts are much more secure. There’s even a secure QR code reader so you can safely scan these codes to access the links.
Finally, there are Privacy Advisor and Security Advisor, which evaluate your device and make suggestions for improving its overall security. Privacy Advisor reviews app permissions and gives you an idea of which permissions should be disabled, while Security Advisor runs through a checklist of features and sensors that your device should have enabled or disabled to achieve optimal protection. With the exception of Bitdefender, no other application on our list has these features.
The only major shortcoming of Sophos Mobile Security is its ability to scan applications before installing them. However, that is not enough to remove it from above. With its “Security Tools” and all the essential features you would expect from a security suite, it easily reached the top of Norton Mobile Security. Thanks to its free price tag, there’s really no reason you shouldn’t use this app, especially considering how bad Play Protect is.
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Norton Security and Antivirus provides complete protection for your mobile device with a well-designed application. The menu layout makes navigation easy for everyone, including your grandparents. The best feature, however, is the Google Play App Advisor (see below).
When you use the Google Play App Advisor, Norton automatically checks the apps you view from the Play Store. A pop-up will then appear in the app’s Play Store listing, indicating whether it is safe or not. This is similar to one of the main features of Google Play Protect, but has a much higher detection rate.
With a 100% detection rate for the latest malware (both in real time and in four weeks), you can rest assured that your device will not be infected no matter where you download your apps.
Anti-theft protection is available and allows remote control of the device via text messages. By sending an action word (such as “lock” or “wipe”) with a password, you can enable remote access for functions such as locking the device or factory reset.
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Call barring is available for single and unregistered numbers. You can even block any number that isn’t in your contacts for extra privacy.
Norton is the only app on our list that offers VPN protection to ensure privacy and security while using a Wi-Fi connection. Users need to install the plugin to add a feature which costs $4.99 per month per device.
When you connect your Norton VPN with the Wi-Fi and network security, you can rest assured that you are browsing the internet safely. Norton even protects against malicious links with Link Guard, which scans links before they are opened, detects potential risks and warns you in advance.
Norton has all the extra features you would expect from a security suite. In addition to password management (a Sophos Mobile Security exclusive feature on our list), no features are missing here. Norton even offers the ability to scan applications before they are installed. This feature is only available in one of the other apps on our list.
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While a standard subscription costs $14.99 per year, Norton offers a lot for those who use their software on their desktop. For $39.99 per year, users can cover up to five devices (including PC, Mac, and iOS). You can choose not to pay, but you can only access the antivirus program. While Norton is the second most expensive on our list, its features are second only to Sophos Mobile Security, making it worth a recommendation.
G Data Internet Security offers the basics that you are used to from a security package. It has anti-theft protection, the ability to control the phone with SMS commands and a call blocking feature. While it has a parental lock (only Sophos has a feature), the lack of many other options forces us to put it in third place.
In addition to the standard functions, G Data also offers a child lock. Apps can be password protected to prevent your kids from accessing them when you lend them your phone. There is another setup for teens and kids if you find it necessary to separate these.
The web protection allows you to edit your blacklist to exclude websites that are not suitable for children. This way, your browser is both malware-protected and kid-friendly.
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G Data offers call blocking, but has a warning. No device with the May 2018 security patch or later can use the feature. While this isn’t a problem for those using older phones (or OEM phones that are notoriously bad for security patch updates like LG), it prevents potential customers from using newer phones. SMS filtering is also available to protect you from spam as well.
G The two main data gaps are link security and Wi-Fi security. Inability to check links before opening
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