The Android smartphone market caters to every budget segment with its range of low-end budget-phones, mid-level feature-loaded smartphones and high-end power packed smartphones. And those who want to own the crème de la crème layer of Android will have to spend roughly above 20k, which is a huge sum. Now, you wouldn’t want your expensive phone to be stolen or data to be misused either. Needless to say, if you own an Android, it better be safeguarded against the growing number of vulnerabilities in the Android Market aka Google Play too, which have almost quadrupled in the past one year. To safeguard your device against such threats, there are a plethora of apps for Android. We’ve picked 10 such apps for our readers.
TrustGo Antivirus & Mobile Security – Free
The Android market is filled with vulnerabilities and if you are an app-happy person, then it may be difficult for you to look out for malicious app or website. The TrustGo Antivirus Mobile security is capable of scanning your phone and SD card to remove all the malicious content – viruses, malware, spyware and trojans. Its capabilities extend beyond scanning for viruses as it can alert users about malicious websites and also monitor and manage the phone’s data/memory usage, and battery consumption. It also lets you take backup of all the data on the cloud. The device is infused with some security features too, which can lock or wipe off data remotely in case of theft.
trustGo scans the device for malicious apps and content
Webroot Security & Antivirus – Free, Rs. 1108
The Webroot app has all the security features that one may look for to protect their smartphone, be it scanning for viruses, blocking unwanted calls/texts, locating a stolen/lost phone, remotely locking a device or block phishing websites. But what we liked even more is its ability to lock the device automatically if the SIM card of your phone is removed. However, this feature comes for a price and you will need to upgrade to the Pro version. The Pro version also brings in features like remotely wiping data of a lost or stolen device, battery status and power usage monitoring, and keeping a tab on prying apps.
Where’s My Droid – Free
This app is like old wine; it just gets better with each year. Open the application and you will see a neat interface with a list of setup options namely, Ring Setup, GPS Setup, Security settings, Commander and Advanced Menu. The app will let you ring your phone (even using a loud siren) incase you have misplaced or lost it, and will do so even if you have kept your phone on the silent mode. Then there is GPS setup to track and find the location of the phone. All this just needs the user to send an SMS with the ‘attention words’ (you need to setup ‘attention words’) from another phone. For instance – by default you can text ‘wmd ring’ on your misplaced phone and it will implement the Ring feature and your misplaced/stolen device will start ringing loudly. The Commander feature has been crafted to offer users complete control of the device from WheresMyDroid.com.
The popular and improved Where's My Droid
Anti-theft Droid – Free
Here’s another app geared to save your dainty droid. This can be called one of the best free anti-theft softwares and controls the actions of your device via text messages. It can track location of your device on net (approx) and GPS (exact). It can even automatically activate the GPS and does not have a large impact on the battery life. The phone can be viewed on the map and has a fire alarm audile anti-theft device which can be disabled only with a password. It can even identify the exchange of phone chip and sends the phone's location at the time of exchange of information in the new Chip (Carrier, IMEI, phone number (if supported by the new chip). It doesn’t require internet connection and one can even hide the antitheft Droid list of applications.
mSecure Password Manager – Rs. 554
This is a cool security app if you have multiple accounts and keep all your critical data and files in the phone. The app protects all your passwords as well as data using 17 different personal information templates. It also allows creating your own templates. It offers 256-bit Blowfish encryption, so do not expect the app to be available for free. Some of its features include auto-lock for apps and Sync Everywhere cloud data protection architecture. mBackup offers free backup utility to all devices while there is optional self-destruct feature in case the hacker attempts to guess the password.
Trend Micro Mobile Security – Free
We had recently got our hands on the Trend Micro Mobile Security suite – Personal Edition for Android. In our verdict, we found it to offer good value, especially with its revised price of Rs. 445. It locates your lost phone and displays the exact location on the map, allowing you to scream, wipe off data and lock the phone remotely. It also scans your phone for rogue apps. The premium features include the Surf, Call and Text security, which lets you toggle safe surfing, parental controls, call blocking and text blocking. All these options can be further customised. Click here to read the complete review.
Trend Micro's app showing the location of teh device
Sophos Mobile Security – Free
Sophos has been quite active at alerting netizens and mobile users across the world about Internet threats through its intensive reports. This security and research firm has also released its mobile security app. The app has been infused with up-to-the minute intelligence from SophosLabs. It is capable of automatically scanning each app installed and keeps malicious content at bay, be it any software. While such security apps are known to exhaust your battery life, the Sophos app promises otherwise. Additionally, it comes with remote lock functionality too.
Lookout Security & Antivirus – Free
Like TrustGo, the Lookout app also scans your device for malware, spyware and trojans. One can also schedule scans and the app will ‘lookout’ for malicious content. The app can be set up to automatically scan new downloaded software. Besides, it is capable of locating lost or stolen phone and also activates a loud alarm to help find the device. The Lookout app can backup and also restore your contacts list in case of theft. If you are ready to spend some moolah, then opt for the premium version and get your phone phishing protection with remote lock and wipe capabilities.
ESET Mobile Security – Free
This security solution alerts its users as soon as an unauthorised SIM card is inserted in their phone. If your phone is misplaced or stolen and another SIM is inserted in it, the app will alert the details to alternate phone numbers which you may have set. Besides, it also scans installed apps, locates and remotely wipes the content from your phone. It comes pre-installed with a task manager which monitors the battery life, free disk space and allows every setting to be password protected.
Provides complete control of the device
ControlMe – Free
ControlMe is a relatively new app and has been designed to give you complete control of the Android device. In case you have left the phone at home and need some important contacts, then you can use the Fetch contacts feature. In case you have accidently left it at your desk while away for lunch, you can remotely lock your phone. All you need to remember is the format of sending an SMS which can be sent from any other number. Using the Control me app, one can also reject calls, delete data, divert calls and more. Among the list of features that one can enable, there’s Mobile Tracker which will notify specific numbers (which you have set up) as soon as the SIM card from the phone has been changed. A message will be sent to those numbers with the details of the new SIM information.
The Android platform is popular but vulnerable. With smartphones serving as a hub of critical data, contacts and entertainment, it is important to secure it against threats and theft. Do let us know, if you have been using one of these apps. You can also suggest apps that you find better than the above mentioned.
Main Image Credit: Getty Images
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