Mobile phones have gone beyond the simple tools of communication and have now become essential in so many areas of life. They save our contact information, photos and videos, and sometimes even our banking information. As more and more users rely on their cell phones, it is becoming increasingly important to have a security mechanism in place that effectively protects our data.

The smartphone security system is getting smarter, but so are cyber-criminals. Hackers have begun to shift their attention towards smartphone users, the Android users in particular. A recent study from the University of Cambridge that 87.7 percent of Android devices are exposed to critical vulnerabilities.

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Luckily, security apps have also improved significantly to keep pace with the security threats. Today, you have plenty of protection options, both free and paid, that you can choose from. Most of the security apps that we discuss here go beyond antivirus protection and include additional tools like remote lock and contact filtering.

We will take a look at these apps from a consumer point of view, so you can get an idea of what each security app offers. After reading this post, you will be, hopefully, in a better position to decide which option works best for you.

1.    Avast Mobile Security:

Avast is a free mobile security and antivirus app that secures your phone against malware, spyware, and malicious viruses. Avast provides users with a virus scanner, virus removal, app manager, app lock, and even a firewall to keep the phone safe and clean. It also has Wi-Fi scanning options and a web shield that scans the URLs for security threats.

However, the downside of the app is that features like anti-theft and app lock are available only on the ‘Pro’ version. The premium version also provides direct support access and an ad-free experience. Overall, Avast is a reliable antivirus app with a real-time malware detection rate of 99.9 percent. This puts the app at the top of the chart, and with additional features, it is definitely worth considering.

2.    Kaspersky Mobile Antivirus:

Kaspersky is a mobile security app with both free and paid versions. The free version allows you to scan your apps for malware and viruses. It also provides in-app purchases where you can get access to premium features like real-time protection, anti-phishing, anti-theft, and an app locker that offers extra protection for your apps. You can also enjoy these features with the paid version of Kaspersky app.

Other features that the antivirus offers include call filter that blocks any unwanted calls and a background app check that protects your downloaded apps. The app provides robust security against most of the malware, trojans, and viruses.

3.    Norton Mobile Security and antivirus:

Another app that scans your Android for malware, spyware, and viruses is the Norton security and antivirus. This name may sound familiar to anyone who has looked at antivirus programs before. Norton antivirus is the android version of the popular cyber security suite for PC. The app can intelligently scan and remove risky apps that can harm your valuable data or slow down your mobile phone. It also includes the remote lock feature which allows you to lock your phone if it is stolen or when the sim card is removed to prevent data theft.

4.    App Ops:

Some apps that we install ask for a specific set of permissions to work properly. App Ops revokes those permissions which are not related to app features that you want to download. The permissions include access to the device camera, gallery, contact list, and much more. If not handled properly, these unnecessary permissions can put your phone and data security at risk. App Ops is the best option in such cases as it allows you to install the app without granting it the set of permissions.

5.    360 Total Security:

360 Security is an antivirus and phone cleaner that is currently used by more than 200 million people around the world. The app not only keeps your phone safe from virus attacks but also boosts the phone’s speed and prolongs battery life. The app also includes call and message filter, fingerprint lock, and intruder selfie – an option where the phone automatically clicks a selfie of the person who attempts to break in the device or app. The intruder selfie feature comes in handy for people who use social networking and chatting apps like AirG on their phone. 360 Security antivirus will block intruder’s access to the app and ensure that you enjoy an AirG spam-free app.

Other than security, the app offers a plethora of features including music player, flashlight, weather reports and forecasts, etc. The app, however, contains ads which you can remove for $5.49 per year.

6.    Sophos Mobile Security:

Sophos Mobile Security is a free android app that offers plenty of security features and boasts 100 percent malware detection rate. The app is a top performer for months and consistently scored 100 percent detection rate as per the AV-Test. Sophos Mobile Security offers robust app scanning; however, the app has returned some false positives in recent months.

Despite the false positives, the app offers incredible features, including web filtering, alarm, lock, password protection, security advice, and more. Since the app is free from ads and costs absolutely nothing, there is no reason why this app shouldn’t be on your phone.

7.    Avira antivirus:

Avira is an anti-theft and virus removal app which detects and blocks spyware, adware, and trojans from damaging your phone. The free version of the app offers features like phone scans, external SD card scans, and anti-theft support. The premium version includes services like app locks where you can lock your apps with a PIN code and hourly updates about security threats. The app is relatively inexpensive and costs only $9.99 for one device per year.

Final thoughts

These are some of the apps that can guarantee the security of your phone. There are many more apps that could have made to this list, but those compiled here will hopefully limit your search and make things easier for you.

Author Bio

Audrey Throne is the mother of a 3-year old and a professional blogger by choice. Throne is passionate about lifestyle, business, automotive, technology and management and blogs frequently on these topics.

Find her on Twitter: @audrey_throne.