With PC sales dwindling amidst a rapidly growing smartphone and tablet market, malware creators are increasingly targeting Android, the world’s most popular mobile platform. In fact, NQ Mobile reports that over 32.8 million Android smartphones were infected with malware in 2012, an increase of 20 million units from 2011.
To combat this trend, several companies offer Android security apps, targeting malware and the most common issue for mobile devices: loss and theft. We tested the best and most used Android security applications by comparing features, the level of protection provided and what impact, if any, these programs have on your device’s performance. Two apps rose to the top of our rankings: one free and one premium.
Widely known for its free anti-virus and security suite for PCs, Avast has brought its security solution to Android. Avast Mobile Security is a completely free application with a polished user interface and innovative features. Call and SMS forwarding, a feature called Privacy Advisor, and the ability to set your device to call another number when it's lost or stolen make Avast a top Android security app.