As far as smartphones and tablets are concerned, it can often seem as if it is Apple’s world and we are all just living in it. But for consumers to blindly resign themselves to iOS’ seemingly inevitable dominance is to miss some new and exciting shifts in the handheld landscape. For example, according to statistics released by Adfonic, Android is the most popular smartphone platform throughout the world, representing 46% of the market share compared with Apple’s 34%.
And in this brave new world of Android superiority, new security software is in high demand. To this end, a number of new security apps have hit the scene that are guaranteed to make malware producers quake in their ergonomically correct computer chairs. Here are just a few free (or nearly free) security apps that should prove very popular in 2013.
Webroot - free
AV-Test rates Webroot as the top security app around. Its new security features are nothing to sneeze at either. The “device scream” interface allows for smooth and seamless functionality and its theft-protection features include GPS location, data wipe as well as a remote admin interface. This enhanced and updated version also allows for more flexible security via its career IQ software, which protects the device from dubious updates and harmful mobile data.
Lookout Security & Antivirus – free limited version
Lookout was one of Android’s flagship security programs, and it should continue to be popular in the coming year. This is because – even in its free, limited form – it offers solid security features. Besides anti-virus and scheduled scanning, Lookout provides a remote locator as well as remote alarm activation. The app also allows the user to backup contact data and automatically upload it to an existing or new device.
ESET – free 30-day trial
Those who want to ensure complete privacy and security during online banking and shopping transactions could do worse than ESET’s mobile app. Its myriad features include SMS and MMS filtering as well as a remote-locking password and comprehensive security auditing. The anti-theft also helps the owner locate his or her device in the vent of theft.
Avast Mobile Security – free
This is another quality security app for Android with an equally strong anti-theft component. The security portion of the app provides users with anti-virus protection as well as an app scanner that provides details on app activity at any given time. It also comes with a web shield that scans URLs for malware. As for the anti-theft, Avast allows users to remotely control their smartphones via text. In this manner, users can send a text instructing the handheld to shut off, lock, wipe data or sound an alarm. Users can also lock their SIM cards and prevent USB debugging.
Norton Anti-Virus & Security – free limited version
It shouldn’t be surprising that one of the most trusted names in computer security now has an equally popular Android app. The free version offers limited functionality that includes anti-virus protection and scan support as well as password options and a remote-lock service.
Any one of the above options should provide ample security for a person’s Android handheld. And those who upgrade to the monthly plans for paid apps such as Norton, ESET and Lookout will likely never need another security app as long as they own their device.