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Almost every one owns an Android device or two these days, or an iPhone. Just how safe are these platforms when it comes to malware.
I would say the iTunes App Store is super solid, because of Apple’s very strict policy, where the company asks developers to submit their apps and games for review (by Apple’s team), and only if the content is found to be safe, are the apps or games published to the Store. This causes a delay in some cases, takes up to a few days, before the app is published to the store.
Google’s Play Store has more relaxing rules, and you can publish an app and it will be available within a few hours. Google does check the APK (Android Package) installer files, but it does miss some malware from time to time.
And yet many argue that an antivirus is not required for Android devices. The majority of users, only use Google Play to install apps and games. But there are countries where the store is not available, like China, Russia, to name a few. And there are devices which don’t come with the Play Store out of the box. So, users turn to third party app stores to download apps. Many normal users do so too. Even I download apps from good sites, but these are mostly free (on the developer’s website) or open source apps or beta versions of apps.
To install apps from unknown sources, you have to disable a setting from the Android device’s settings. This poses some risk, as Google’s built-in app scanner may not work with apps from 3rd-party sources. So, think twice before disabling the setting, or even downloading an APK.
That is not the only way that malware originates on Android devices. The bigger problem is ads. Malicious ad banners are injected in many apps, which pop up advertising fake cleaners, battery savers, speed boosters, CPU coolers, RAM downloaders. How on earth can an app download RAM or cool a device? They are hardware components, and yet people tap the download button, and it infects the device.
A popular free file explorer app which is still available on Google play, recently began displaying ad-banners, and push notifications on its own. The only way to stop this is to buy a premium version. I was a huge fan of the app, but after these malicious behaviour, I ditched it for a clean and better looking app. This is the sad state of freemium games and apps.
Ads also appear in your web browsers, regardless of which browser app you use. And many of these ads are pop-up ads or fake virus ads. And then there are ads which make your phone vibrate continuously. This happens even on legitimate websites, and an owner of a popular blog, posted on Google+, that he was literally helpless, and couldn’t identify what was causing this issue.
Still don’t think you need a mobile antivirus? That’s up to you. But we recommend using one, and the one we use, is Norton Mobile Security.
The app is free to download with a bunch of premium features. Norton Mobile Security. has a clean UI with a light theme, and well designed icons for easy navigation. The app’s home screen displays the security status of the device, with the scores for anti-malware, privacy and web protection.
The second tab, with the Android bot icon, is called App Security, and has options for an app advisor which scans installed apps and the permissions they have access to. The App advisor for Google Play scans apps before you download them, and enabling this option lets you see a rating of the app within the Play Store app (using an overlay). The app security tab also has the anti-malware scanner which uses Norton Mobile Insight to scan installed apps for malware. The virus definitions are updated automatically, and the app runs scans on a regular basis. Optionally you can let Norton Mobile Security scan the memory card on your phone.
There is also an optional app-lock (free standalone app) which lets you lock apps with a PIN or Password or a Pattern Lock, and helps prevent people checking on your data, or even prevent pocket dials (from the lockscreen).
The Globe icon houses options related to Safe Search and Web Protection. The first setting lets you search the web securely (from your homescreen shortcut, or a search widget, or from the notification shade) and blocks malware infected sites from your search results.
Web Protection protects your phone when you are browsing websites, and can block malicious websites. This is a must have feature, because a lot of malware originate from links shared in IM apps, social networks, etc.
The third tab, with a phone icon, is the Anti-Theft. This option requires you to sign in to your Norton account, and lets you track a stolen device, remotely lock your device or wipe it using SMS. You can even make your device’s speaker scream with a sound. There is a Sneak Peek option which can take a photo (and send it to you) of the person using your device, once you mark the device as lost or stolen. Norton Mobile Security lets you blocks unwanted calls, SMS too. And you can also backup your contacts to your Norton account.
Norton Security Premium unlocks the following two features: SafeWeb Filtering, App Advisor (malware scanner). You have 30 days to try the app’s premium features for free. Norton Mobile Security for iOS can protect your iPhone and iPad from theft by remotely tracking your device. It also has a back up and restore option, which prevents data loss.
Buy Norton Security Premium at the lowest price ever, and save with our exclusive discount code. You can use the premium version on multiple phones or tablets you own.