Avast! Mobile Security
Prepare to repel boarders
Android App of the Week The security or lack thereof of the Android platform - real or imagined - is a common topic of conversation at the moment so it seems like a good time to take a look for a comprehensive security app. My preferred choice is Avast!.
Avast! for Android is free and carries no advertising, making it perfect for anyone who is just a little worried about mobile security but thinks that it could be a case of a lot of smoke but very little fire.
Avast! comprises many components (left), including a virus scanner (right)
The app consists of six distinct parts and a seventh, optional one. The six are a virus scanner; a privacy advisor which tells you which apps have access to what systems; a basic application manager; something called Web Shield, which warns you about dodgy websites; a text and call filter; and a firewall.
It’s worth mentioning that the latter only works with rooted handsets. Web Shield only does it’s stuff with the stock Android browser, so if you are using Dolphin like me it’s not a feature you need dwell on.
The firewall (left) only works if your phone is rooted; the Web Shield (right) only works with the stock browser
I suspect the average user will get most mileage from the virus scanner, which will give them some peace of mind that no nefarious code is lurking on their system or SD storage like a mugger outside a coach station.
The optional component is a comprehensive anti-theft system. This part of the app standalone so you have to download it separately and, usefully, you can rename it so it appears in your app drawer as something other than the rather obvious Avast! Anti-Theft.
Anti-Theft (left) is an optional extra that can disguise itself (right)
A range of protection functions can be triggered when the phone's Sim card is changed to one not pre-approved or when the device is marked as lost by sending a text message.
These include some standard features like a lock and a siren, but also some less common ones like the ability to deny access to USB debugging, or the handset’s program manager and phone settings. Again, if your handset is rooted you will get more out of this feature.
Protect your data if your phone is lost (left) and see what your running apps are up to (right)
To cap it all, the interface is a very well designed, with clearly written guidance about what each feature does and how to use it. With no cost implication there’s nothing to lose by installing it on the always-carry-a-condom principle: better to have it and not need it than the other way around. ®
We make our choice of the best Android smartphone and tablet downloads every Tuesday. If you think there's an app we should be considering, please let us know.
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me thinks you forgot something, i.e. how good / bad it is in detecting viral infections. It's no use waffling about what it claims to be able to do, without showing any results on how well it does it. Say, how effective it is in threat detection, in comparison with x number of similar products.
How does it compare against Lookout AV Security for Android?
business model is simple enough, give away AV software for free to home users, sell AV for business use or sell for home use with added features. The Android app helps create awareness of the brand hopefully converting those mobile users into paying desktop users.
The big problem I see for Avast is that Microsoft now have a very decent AV program that's free for home users and small businesses and doesn't aim to induce coronary arrest every time the definitions are updated.
Larger businesses are going to use something like Sophos that has decent management capabilities.
They put on purpose
First, it may stop script kiddies from trying something and second, if you have a device which runs into low memory events, it prevents android operating system from killing it.
It sounds weird but android picks the most invisible background apps and services to kill when there is low memory.
It has potentially unwanted program detection and it spotted something from android market which can be used both by white and black hats.
Deny usb debugging and deny root from internet access does a lot more in current scene. That is the part the google idiot mentioned every time when they talk about security misses.
Note that the app it does detect is on android market, it can be used for good (watch your kid) but it can also be used horribly wrong. That is way beyond google market design to cope with.
anyway,I gave up my paid antivirus which still have subscription for this since it is way more better written by people who actually cares. Mr Kaspersky should get rid of entire android app developers, not the detectors.