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Five of the best (and free) Android security apps

Worried about hackers and fraudsters gaining access to the data on your Android smartphone or tablet? You should be. But you can also reduce that risk by installing a security app on your device.
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Topic: Mobility
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1 of 6 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Introduction

Worried about hackers and fraudsters gaining access to the data on your Android smartphone or tablet? According to security experts, you should be, because mobile is the new platform of choice for the bad guys, with Android being at the top of that list. Some Android devices are even making their way to customers with preinstalled security vulnerabilities and misconfigurations.

The risk is real. But you can also reduce that risk by installing a security app on your device.

Here are five of the best Android security apps currently available, as tested by security software test lab AV-TEST.

See also:

- Cheap Black Friday/Cyber Monday Android tablets riddled with vulnerabilities and security headaches

- Amazon: Last-minute deals on Kindle, Fire TV, and Fire tablets

- 'Samsung couldn't build a good OS if they tried,' claims Cyanogen CEO

- Third-party app brings cool iOS 8/OS X Yosemite features to Android

- Five challenges facing Android in 2015

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2 of 6 AVAST

AVAST Mobile Security & Antivirus

Features security tools like virus scanner, virus removal, protector, network meter, app manager, app lock, and even firewall (on rooted phones) to give you total control for staying free of malware.

Features include:

- Antivirus Engine: Virus scanner automatically scans installed apps, memory card content and new apps upon first use. Schedule automatic scans for when you sleep. Includes SMS/file scanning for complete mobile protection.

- Privacy Report & Apps Manager: Provides insights about installed apps and helps you understand your apps' access rights, intentions, and permissions.

- SMS and Call Filter: Allows you to retain your privacy. Block numbers from those you don't want to be able to contact you.

- Web Shield: Blocks malware infected links, as well as Trojans, adware and spyware (for safe web browsing) and even USSD numbers (which have the ability to wipe your device's memory). Also fixes mistyped URLs.

- Network Meter: Measures incoming/outgoing data transfers.

- Firewall (rooted devices only): Blocks hackers from getting in.

- App Locking: Locks any two apps with a PIN/gesture (unlimited in Premium).

- Backup: Allows backup of contacts, SMS/call logs, and photos (Premium version provides backup of music, video, and apps).

Link | Price: Free (with in-app purchases)

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3 of 6 Norton

Norton Security & Antivirus

Norton Mobile Security protects you and your Android devices against threats such as malicious apps, theft or loss, and websites designed to steal your information and money. More importantly, Norton provides proactive protection against potentially risky apps that could leak your personal information and content, excessively use battery and data or have intrusive behavior.

- Protects your smartphone or tablet.
- Use SMS to remotely lock your lost or stolen phone.
- Scan and remove apps that have malware/viruses that can harm or slow your device.

Link | Price: Free (with in-app purchases)

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4 of 6 Kaspersky

Kaspersky Internet Security

Kaspersky Internet Security for Android delivers the latest mobile security technologies – including superior anti-theft protection and Android antivirus. All the great features of Kaspersky Mobile Security and Kaspersky Tablet Security are now available in a single easy-to-use solution that is optimized specifically for smartphones and tablets.

Core, essential protection is absolutely free, just as it was in Kaspersky Mobile Security Lite – but now it has even more security features:

- Kaspersky Lab’s latest protection technologies against viruses, spyware, Trojans and more.

- An Antivirus Scanner that runs an on-demand malware scans of your device.

- Advanced Anti-Theft Protection, including Lock & Locate, Wipe, Full wipe, Mugshot.

Link | Price: Free (with in-app purchases)

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5 of 6 Trend Micro

Trend Micro Mobile Security & Antivirus

Trend Micro Mobile Security, Antivirus, & Performance Booster app provides “100% detection” according to Av-test.org and is certified by PCSL and AV-Comparatives. It now blocks malware downloaded from Google Play before installation to provide comprehensive data protection.

Protect your privacy; find your lost phone or tablet; backup photos and videos; increase device performance with new system tuner, battery saver, task killer and memory booster

- Free Antivirus Protection & Scanner.

- 50MB of Cloud Storage to backup contacts/photos/etc.

- Privacy Scanner for Facebook.

- Battery Saver and status.

- Memory Booster and status.

- Just-a-Phone – kills non-essential background processes during calls when your battery is low.

- Free History Cleaner.

Link | Price: Free (with in-app purchases)

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6 of 6 Qihoo

Qihoo 360 Security

A totally free – no in-app purchases, no premium version – mobile security app for Android.

360 Security boosts your mobile phone to efficiently accelerate performance, while defending you against the latest viruses, malware, system vulnerabilities, and privacy risks with its advanced antivirus technology.

- ONE TAP BOOSTER: Clean memory processes to make your phone run smoothly, while saving battery life.

- ONE TAP CLEANER: Get rid of junk files generated from everyday use, to free up more storage space on your mobile device.

- ONE TAP ANTIVIRUS: Delete all viruses, malware, and Trojans, while patching all system vulnerabilities to protect your privacy and personal data.

Link | Price: Free

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