[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n opposition to the past decade – when our computing activities were restricted to desktops – devices like smartphones and tablets have been at the centre stage at present. The two major operating systems, which come with these devices, are Apple’s IOS and Google’s Android. While Apple’s working software remains exclusive to their devices till date, Google’s operating system supports all the other devices from mobile leaders – be it Samsung or OnePlus.
Now that most of us are dependent on Android, it’s obvious that we would like to protect the operating systems of our mobile devices. However, it has been a popular opinion that Android devices don’t need antivirus until and unless you download apps and softwares from outside the Google ecosystem – that is its official play store. By default, Android does not allow you to install apps from other sources, so there’s no chance of you accidentally installing something nefarious. Supposedly, a dodgy app does find its way into the Google Play market, Google quickly pulls the app and uninstalls it from your device.
However, if you download apps from untrusted sources, your device is most likely to encounter a Trojan attack or other Android viruses. If you still want to wade into the troubling corner of mobile ecosystem, we have listed out the most trusted antiviruses of 2018 for you.
Avast Mobile Security
Antivirus giant, Avast, has used its considerable skills to create an app which goes above and beyond a mundane scanner. Extra features in the free version include a call blocker, firewall and even an anti-theft measure allowing you to remotely lock or wipe your Android device if it goes missing.
Kaspersky Mobile Antivirus
Kaspersky is a remarkable security app and one of the best antivirus apps for Android. According to AV-Test, it is excellent at picking up on malware with 99.9% detection rate. It has a free version with in-app premium feature purchases and a paid version. The free version features manually scanning of apps for malware and viruses, and its premium features include real-time protection, anti-theft, anti-phishing, and an app locker to provide extra protection to your essential apps.
Bitdefender Antivirus Free
Bitdefender Antivirus Free is powerful antivirus tool that offers protection against all major Android threats. It is one of the most lightweight antivirus apps that uses in-the-cloud scanning technology that results in super-fast scanning ability. It does not slow down your device or drain your battery. The app also offers real-time protection and scan apps as they are installed.
Antiy AVL is a former winner of the AV-Test (a well-respected independent antivirus testing outfit) award for best protection of mobile devices. Its features include not only an antivirus database (of course) but a scanner capable of detecting any kind of executable file making its way onto your device. Other handy features include a call blocker to prevent malicious numbers from contacting you, as well as an anti-phishing feature to stop harmful websites from loading in the first place.
McAfee Security & Power Booster Free
McAfee is another well-known name when it comes to antivirus software for the PC, and this Android app – McAfee Mobile Security – doesn’t disappoint. Besides the antivirus scanner itself, free features include tracking a lost device as well as locking and wiping it remotely. If your device is stolen, the app can even take a picture of the thief. Other highlights include the ability to scan apps to check if they leak sensitive information, and lock them if necessary. McAfee will also block access to potentially malicious websites, as well as allow you to keep a blacklist of nuisance callers and texters.
Norton Security & Antivirus
The latest version of Norton antivirus software offers impressive Android security features even in the free version. The app mostly provides 100% detection rate and removes malware, spyware, or Android viruses that can slow down your device. It can trigger an alarm to find your missing device, remotely lock your device to prevent data theft, or block unwanted calls or SMS. It also has separate stand-alone apps such as app locker and password manager which are available for free in the Play Store.
Security Master is the upgraded version of the original CM Security. It is an all-in-one antivirus app that has a considerable number of downloads along with a good rating in the Play Store. It keeps your phone safe from all sorts of malware and makes sure that no viruses get into your phone. The free version itself brings you tons of great security features such as app locker, scanner, message security, Wi-Fi security, junk cleaner, notification cleaner, phone booster, CPU cooler, battery saver, call blocker, etc. Along with these, it also enables you to browse any of your favourite sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. safely from within the app.
Avira Antivirus Security
Avira Antivirus is a lesser-known Android security app which is equally reliable like its other competitors on the list. It is fully-featured, and most of its functions are available in the free version itself. In case of antivirus and privacy protection, it can even scan external storage units and show how each app rates on a privacy scale. With the ‘cell phone tracker,’ it can track your phone’s location whenever necessary. Also, if you ever lose your phone, it can prompt the person who has your phone to contact you.
360 Security is another best antivirus for Android. It is highly trusted by many users and has a massive number of downloads. This app gives you many reasons for why it should be a must-have app on your phone. Major features include antivirus protection, junk cleaner, speed booster, lock screen which has multiple functions, CPU cooler, anti-theft protection, etc. In addition to real-time protection, it integrates an Intruder Selfie feature that instantly snaps a photo of anyone who tries to break into your device, and also has a fingerprint lock system. The app is free with in-app purchases and displays ads.
Sophos Free Antivirus and Security
Sophos’ free antivirus app has previously won the AV-Test award for best protection in 2015. Unlike other free scanners, Sophos doesn’t contain any adverts. It does, however, block websites with potentially spammy or illegal content. Apps are scanned for malware or otherwise harmful content as they are installed and Sophos alerts you if they might leak any sensitive information. The antivirus scanner can be scheduled to scan files and folders periodically, and the malware database itself is updated daily. The app also includes a handy QR code scanner which can be used to set up secure Wi-Fi connections. There’s also an authenticator that can generate one-time passwords for two-factor authentication.