According to CNN, the vast majority of smartphones aren’t protected with any kind of security software, and the platform as a whole may be due for a large cyber attack. IT is estimated that only one in five smartphones use security apps, which leaves 80 percent of the smartphone-using population unguarded.
From reading email to shopping and even to depositing checks into our bank account, there’s not much that can’t be done with a smartphone. However, if you look at your every day smartphone activity, you may notice that a lot of sensitive information is transmitted through your phone. Passwords, bank account numbers, and more could be compromised if you don’t have adequate security apps on your phone.
While it’s easy to think that security is unnecessary for something as simple as a smartphone, nothing could be further from the truth. Fortunately, security apps for both iOS and Android will help you keep your phone safe, not only from identity thieves, but also from malicious software and apps that could harm your phone.
5 Stellar Security Apps
The following represent the best security apps currently available for both the iOS and Android smartphone platforms.
Available for both Android and iOS, this software performs all the security functions you need, including regular virus scanning, checking downloads for malware, and alerting users for possible phishing content. Avast also has an added data tracker feature that allows you to measure how much data you are using and keep you from incurring overages. And the best part about Avast? This security app is free on both the iOS and Android platforms, and can be used on both phones and tablets.
This application is also available for both iOS and Android, and is also free. Though it doesn’t have the robust features suite of the Avast SecureLine, Lookout is a great app if you are worried about recovering a lost or stolen phone. The app can track your phone’s position, have their device make a loud noise even if in silent or vibrate mode, or if their battery dies, users can see the last location where the device was powered on. Additionally, if someone tries to steal or unlock your smartphone, Lookout will automatically send you an email with the picture and location info of the person who tried to unlock it. Though it might not do a lot for identity theft, Lookout is essential if you are worried about your phone landing in the wrong hands. (Along those same lines, here are some excellent tips if you ever have to deal with a stolen laptop.)
This application is Android exclusive and not only has real-time shields that scan for viruses and malware, but also removes content that it deems to be dangerous. Though the price tag is a little heavy at $14.99, the software also includes features like remote data destruction, automatic SIM lock if someone tries to replace the SIM card, missing phone location services, and block services for unwanted phone and text messages. Once purchased, the app can also be transferred to up to eight other devices, including tablets.
This Android exclusive app includes a standard antivirus program and real-time shields like many of the other security apps on this list, but where Bitdefender sets itself apart is with a privacy monitor that allows users to see what permissions different apps have, and manage their privacy preferences for different apps. If you are a user that worries about sharing information on your device with app-makers, this app will help you manage highly specific privacy settings in addition to keeping your device safe from viruses and malware. This app is also free on the Google Play store.
This lightweight option is Android exclusive, and as the name implies, it is free to use. While it doesn’t have a lot of features, this app runs silently in the background and includes a basic web and application shield. It doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, but this app is great if you don’t want a security application eating up all your memory, and aren’t too concerned about having advanced features like phone tracking. This is also a good app if you have an older smartphone that isn’t compatible with some of the more advanced security apps and you need a program that doesn’t consume much memory.
There are plenty of software choices out there for both the Android and iOS platforms, and no matter whether you want an all-inclusive, feature-rich application that costs money or a simple, bare-bones free app, there are plenty of practical security apps you can use to make your iOS or Android smartphone more secure.