Do you need antivirus for your Android smartphone? Should you pay for security or are free versions secure enough? I will answer these questions shortly.
The very first step to protecting your smartphone or tablet against malware is to update it to the latest OS. Many Software updates are usually security updates therefore it is important to keep your phone updated to the latest software.
Before updating your device software, please ensure that your device is plugged in and charging as this ensures that the software update is not cut short due to low power.
Now let us look at mobile security apps. Besides keeping you safe from viruses and malware, the best antivirus apps also keep you safe from scams, keep your personal information safe, and also enable you to find or format a lost device.
Do I need mobile security software for Android?
Unlike iOS devices which run a closed system and are less vulnerable to malware and viruses, Android runs on an open source platform. This makes Android devices more vulnerable to viruses and malware.
Although Google has done it’s best to keep the Android OS secure, through the frequent software updates and security patches, and also via the Google Play Protect that ensures that suspicious apps do not make their way into the App Store.
Most Android Devices come with Google Play Protect preinstalled and by default already protects the user from viruses and malware.
Besides having Google Play Protect, it might be advantageous to also have an added layer of security by installing either a paid or a free antivirus.
Mobile security software brands.
If you have used antivirus on a PC before then you will be familiar with some of these names. Smartphone security software include Avast, McAfee, Norton, Kaspersky, Bit Defender and Trend Micro.
There are also other smaller mobile security brands like, Lookout Webroot, 350 security, and Panda Security.
Most of these software mentioned above offer a paid-for package. The prices range from as little as £5 to well over £50. Avast, Bit Defender and Norton also offer a Basic Free package with the option of upgrading at will.
Should I pay for a smartphone antivirus software?
The features available in Free antivirus and paid antivirus are usually different. Most paid apps will offer an extensive list of features and as such paying for antivirus ultimately depends on your needs and preferences.
According to tests run by (https://www.tomsguide.com/best-picks/best-android-antivirus) the best android antivirus app, is Bitdefender Mobile Security. For just $15 per year it offers nearly flawless malware protection with a wide range of features.
Although Norton Mobile Security offers better protection, it is a little bit pricey costing $30 per year and they also do not have a free version.
Avast Mobile Security and McAfee offer many features for free and also are fairly secure. The only downside is that they contain a lot of ads. To get rid of the Ads you will have to upgrade to a premium version.
Kaspersky offers a free version with no intrusive ads. It’s call blocking and anti-theft features are also great. Even though it lacks a Wifi security scanner, it offers good protection against malware.
Mobile security software features
Using a free version of an antivirus will only give you limited features while a paid version will provide you with a more extensive range of premium features. Below is a list of features offered by most mobile security software.
- App Lock
- Call/SMS Blocking
- Privacy Adviser
- Parental Controls
- Remote Lock
- Remote Photo
- Remote Location
- Remote Wipe
- SIM Lock
- Safe Browsing Mode
- Tune Up
- Uninstall Protection
Bearing these features in mind will help you decide which Antivirus software to use, and whether or not you should pay for it.