Similar to Windows, the Android system by Google too has a weak security system which has made it prone to a number of dangerous malware. There are a number of good reasons as to why you should consider installing security software on your Android smart phone.
Anyone has the ability of submitting apps to the Google Play Store without having received any pre-approval while apps can be downloaded from other sources as well. This means that Android users are at a greater risk compared to iPhone and Windows phone users who can download and install only those apps which have been approved for safety.
The Actual Story
Because of the open nature of the Android operating system, it is more susceptible to malware similar to what is found on the Windows PC. While the scale of the Android malware isn’t as bad as that of Windows, it is a threat nevertheless. Even if you are careful with respect to the apps which you install and the websites which you visit, there are still good reasons why you should install a security app. These apps come with anti-theft features and while they may not prevent the theft from occurring, they will allow you to lock your phone or to wipe the data if it gets stolen. It could also help in locating your phone in case you may have left it in a restaurant or bar. Some apps even have features which allow photos and audio recordings of thieves to be taken.
Call blocking is yet another feature found in security suites used in Android. If you constantly have to battle nuisance calls and texts, you can block the caller so that they can no longer disturb you. However this option will not work if the calls are pre-recorded or when the number calling is withheld or is unknown. Some apps even allow you to schedule call blocking so you can divert calls to voicemail during a certain period in the day.
A Little Bit More
Some suites also come with app managers in them which makes it possible to password protect access to the Google Play Store or even to the web browser, something which can be valuable for parents who give their children their phones to play games on. This feature would prevent the children from coming across something which is not meant for them and even prevent them from making any app purchases.
Features for backup facilities however found in these suites are not as useful. Some simply back up contacts which is already done by Android when you sign in to your Google account while others simply offer a limited space to store files and photos. Google+ app however can also be set to automatically store photos and it can also offer large amounts of free space.
According to the results of the AV-Test, the top 6 contenders as part of the best Android antivirus apps of 2014/2015 UK are the Avast Mobile Security & Anti-Virus, Ikarus Mobile Security, Kaspersky Internet Security, Norton Mobile Security 2014, Qihoo 360 Mobile Safe and the Trend Micro Mobile Security. These apps do an almost perfect job of what they are meant to do.
However there are bigger differences when comparing the additional features offered by them, the anti-theft features in particular. Norton Mobile Security however falls behind on this feature despite being the most expensive; Ikarus is light on additional features as well however it performs well and is much cheaper than Norton Security.
Kaspersky and Trend Micro are both good packages however both contain their own weakness. The former has some usability flaws whereas the latter’s anti-theft and parental control features are quite weak.
Lastly, the Qihoo 360 Mobile Safe is a free pack which has a number of features for an app which is free while Avast despite charging a moderate fee offers a wide range of features and the best anti-theft tools available amongst all the apps. These two are the ones which are the most recommended due to their flexibility and the variety of anti-theft tools they offer.