We’ve all heard the stories about celebrities getting their cell phones hacked, resulting in their private information being sold to the highest bidder. It’s easy to think of them as isolated incidents, but in fact it happens far more often than what gets reported. But how do these phones get hacked in the first place?
The answer, most likely, is through malware. The primary focus of most mobile malware is to steal your information. It can lock you out of your phone, sell your contacts list, and even take control of your phone’s camera without your consent. To help keep you and your devices safe, we’ve developed a list of our top 5 picks for smartphone antivirus apps.
Platform: Android, free or $14.99 for 1 year of premium protection
This app includes anti-malware features, along with protection against identity theft. Avast Mobile Security also has a preventative component that allows you to track your phone and signal an alarm if it’s lost or stolen. Think you might accidentally land on a malicious site? No worries, the app has browsing protection and clues you in, so you’ll always have a warning before you land on something dangerous.
Platform: Android/iOS, free or $29.99 for 1 year of premium protection
Do you feel like you might need a friend to watch your back while you’re surfing the web? The Lookout Mobile Security app will be your faithful companion. This app protects against malware, has an alarm if your device is lost or stolen, and even backs up your contacts. In addition to automatic scans for protection, Lookout Mobile allows you to manage when you would like to perform additional scans or backups. You can download the premium package that includes additional protection, but the free version is a great start.
Platform: Android, $19.99 for 1 year of protection
The NQ Security app provides browser protection, a firewall, and protection from malware. It also offers a privacy advisor that analyzes and tracks data usage in addition to managing your other apps for you. Not only does this app locate your lost or stolen phone, but with the premium upgrades, you can delete information remotely off of your device so that the thief can’t access anything personal. The NQ Security app is like the telekinesis twin you never had.
Platform: Android/iOS, $4.99 per month, or $47.88 for 1 year of premium protection
Surfing the web shouldn’t be a dangerous task, but unfortunately it can be. SurfEasy allows you to browse the web with bank-grade encryption to keep you safe. The app offers privacy and identity protection to secure your personal information, financial details, and online accounts. Wherever in the world you might be, you can take SurfEasy with you to keep you and your mobile device out of harm’s way.
Platform: Android/iOS, $19.99 for 1 year of premium protection
This all-in-one mobile security app protects against malware, locks your lost or stolen phone, and scans your other apps to make sure they don’t harm or slow your device. Norton Mobile Security is proactive in protecting against any mischief that goes on while you’re surfing the web. Additionally, Norton is a trusted name in the antivirus software world.
Whichever app you decide to try, be sure to download it from the Apple App Store (iOS), Google Play store (Android), or the official website. Downloading apps from anywhere but an official source puts you at risk for installing phony malware onto your mobile device.