Internet security for your Android device may be the last thing on your mind when you are engaged in a game of Candy Crush, or texting your BFF. But if you are sharing intellectual property with your boss via text, or playing online at real money casinos, then safeguarding your data is top priority.
Digital viruses are similar to physical viruses in that we hear about them frequently, we are aware of what they are called and how they could potentially affect us, but we assume they will only happen to other people. Also, we are so busy; surely downloading an antivirus app can wait?
Yes, it can wait. If you have no assets, are using a pay-as-you-go phone with no personal data or contacts on it, and you live in a campground. Then you really have nothing to lose. For everyone else, however, antivirus security is critical.
Why Antivirus Apps are Critical
Phone manufacturers make their phones as secure as possible—within limits. Because of limited space on the semiconductor chip as well as limited physical space within the phone itself, a sort of triage occurs among phone engineers when choosing the most critical components.
It is consumers that opt for the lightest, most streamlined phones, and thus it often happens that important applications are jettisoned. One famous example is when the iPhone 7 was brought to market without a headphone jack, enraging Apple users. Apple engineers defended the decision by stating the move freed up space within the phone for other features.
Thus, you can trust your Android maker as much as is reasonable, but still take care of yourself by investing in an antivirus app.
Top Antivirus Apps
This cybersecurity firm is based in Bucharest. The antivirus service has an estimated 500 million users. Bitdefender aims to protect Android users with its cloud-based anti-theft and malware defense product called Bitdefender Mobile Security.
Bitdefender has used machine-learning to create a malware detection component to the service. Anti-theft services include locating and locking a lost device as well as remotely wiping all data from a stolen Android device. Also, the service alerts Android owners if their lost or stolen phone has had its SIM card changed out.
Customers have commented that the Bitdefender website is clean and easy to navigate. Bitdefender also gives users an app lock tool that requires a pin to use any app you specify. Great if you have kids or your phone is accessible by others.
- AVG AntiVirus
This security service for Android is a subsidiary of Czech cybersecurity firm Avast, who paid more than a billion dollars for AVG AntiVirus back in 2016. Avast has been around for more than three decades, has 1700 employees across the globe, and specializes in several aspects of cybersecurity, AI and machine learning.
AVG AntiVirus focuses on anti-spyware and has (according to parent company Avast) 200 million users. AVG AntiVirus is a freemium product, in that it costs nothing to install and use but if you need tech support you will need to register with the company and pay a user fee.
3. McAfee Mobile Security
Yes, this is a name we associate with computing in the 1990s. But the company has not gone the way of the dodo. McAfee has adapted well to the Android security market. There is a paid option, but the free option is just as effective (but you have to deal with a few ads).
McAfee will scan your device for suspicious apps, and works to prevent ransomware and malware from breaching your phone’s defenses. You can also lock and track a lost phone, as well as remotely erase all the phone’s data if you suspect the device has been stolen.
The world is changing every day—every minute, even. With new developments in technology come new challenges. One good example is how electronic health records assist doctors in staying on top of a patient’s medications and check-ups, but unfortunately, now those same records are susceptible to electronic mischief.
Check digital security news often to stay on top of evolving tech for Android devices as well as other electronic life tools. Busy people tend to put off installing apps that “may” be useful at some nebulous point the future, but given the prevalence of hacking and malware, it is more than likely your antivirus app will be in regular use.