Are security apps really effective for smartphones?

App Security

Security Apps? Does it really work?


Almost everyone has an efficient antivirus program installed on their desktop or laptop computer. But with ever-growing threats of nasty malware, how important is it to secure your smartphone or tablet with a security app? Do you really need an antivirus on your smartphone?

If you are an avid tech news follower, you must have heard that Android malware is on the rise and there has been an alarming increase of 472% from May of this year.

Global Threat Center presented an infographic that has raised eyebrows all over the world. But does that mean that you need to rush yourself into buying an antivirus package for your smartphone? Well, the answer is a bit complicated. There is a lot of controversy surrounding security apps, almost as much as malware itself.

So, to be honest you probably do need some sort of security app on your smartphone to keep the malware at bay. But the security option you choose, totally depends on the kind of device you own. Let us explore some options.

Android devices

Most android app stores, including Google Play Store, are not very efficient in screening all the apps. Sometimes, a few apps tend to slip in, which contain android specific malware. One of the most malicious threat that has been popping up regularly in the past few months is Ransomware. This is why it is vital to keep your phone protected, in case you download a malicious app.

Android system is one of the most targeted in smartphone operating systems. But fortunately, there are many android antivirus and anti-malware apps in the market now. Choose an app that has been designed by a reputed developer with plenty of positive reviews on the app store.

Some popular ones to choose from are AVL, BullGuard, ESET, Qihoo 360 etc. All these apps are carefully designed to protect your sensitive data and have to pass over 3,000 tests that consist of real world malware, in order to get high ratings.

These security apps don’t drain the phone’s battery and performance and do not trigger unnecessary alarms. Few apps like ESET’s Security Audit and Qihoo 360’s Privacy Protection offer other useful features that cover more than your basic security needs.

Another way to ensure the safety of your smartphone is to install an app that provides a firewall, like DroidWall. But be vary, that most of the firewall apps require you to root your device, which means potentially exposing it to even further danger.

Even though firewalls add a separate layer of protection, they are not very relevant in the Android operating system domain.

Lastly, it is very important to guard yourself from malvertising in order to protect your Android phone. Use adblockers, like Adblock Browser, to stop unnecessary ads from popping up.

iOS devices

According to the creators of iOS operating system, no security app is required on it. Apple keeps a strict check on all apps that are loaded on its app store. This is why you are less likely to download malware containing apps. Apple doesn’t even allow anti-virus apps to be a part of the app store because they are just not required according to the company.

However, iPhone users are still at a risk from malvertising. Use Adblock browser to keep you safe from unwanted ads and pop-up windows. Just browse carefully and you should be pretty safe from majority of the malware threats for iOS.

But if you jailbreak your iPhone, it is another story. You are more prone to downloading nasty malware filled apps. But looking for a good jailbreak antivirus solution is a difficult task, because most of the popular security apps don’t offer a full version for iOS, putting you in a very tight spot.


As discussed above, malware threats are dependent on the kind of operating system your smartphone has. So, choose a security app that gels with it. But with the increasing cases of smartphone malware, it is a good idea to use at least some kind of security app.

Have you installed a security app in your smartphone? If not, will you look for an antivirus app after reading this article? Let us know which apps you prefer according to the platform of your smartphone and whether you think security apps are really effective in keeping the malware away.

Author: Andrea Bell

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