Should mobile device users worry about ransomware-infected apps? The answer: It depends. iOS users are safe from dangerous apps because of Apple’s stringent App Store oversight. And Android users who download apps only from Google’s Play Store should also be safe from ransomware. But because Android phones come from several manufacturers – and there are unsavory third-party sites that offer malware-loaded apps — Android users might want to be ultrasafe and consider an anti-malware app. Here are four that do the job.
The most downloaded app of the four reviewed here, AVG finds and deletes dangerous malware, but can also help your phone run smoother. AVG lets you know which apps on your phone are slowing your device and draining your battery. It also tells you which apps are using the most data. Like all apps reviewed here, not all features are free.
Kaspersky Antivirus & Security
The Russia-based company, known for its highly rated line of antivirus software for Windows, will not only scan for malware already on your phone, it will warn you if an app you are about to download is unsafe. Kaspersky has a free Safe Browser app for iOS, but it is mainly for people who don’t use Apple’s built-in Safari browser and has limited effectiveness.
Malwarebytes, maker of one the best free anti-malware programs for Windows, brings its technology to Android. The app will detect and remove all sorts of dangerous programs, including viruses, spyware and Trojans. It also offers information when legitimate apps are tracking you and looking at some sensitive information on your phone, such as your contacts and phone log.
Norton Security and Antivirus
Another longtime maker of PC antivirus software, Norton scans your phone for malware and also warns if you are browsing a possibly dangerous site on the internet. The app has several unnecessary features, such as “find my phone,” which is already offered by Google. The company’s iOS app, Norton Mobile Security, doesn’t offer much more protection than what is already built in to Apple mobile devices.