Never before had I been worried about my phone happening upon a virus. I had installed some antivirus apps on my Android phones in the past to test them out, but I was yet to put one on my Galaxy Nexus. But once a few friends with Android devices started coming to me with complaints of their phones acting up and asking for advice, I began to look into some protection for my Galaxy Nexus. I happened upon Lifehacker’s guide to the “Best and Worst AntiVirus Apps for Android” which helped to guide me in the right direction.
I had used Lookout in the past, but it had seemed a bit intrusive for my tastes. (Popups and items in my notification bar on occasion will deter me from an app, unless they’re very useful.) Having sold Kaspersky for Windows at Best Buy and dealing with it on campus at Olivet, I wanted to stray away from there as well. Some of the other “top names” on Lifehacker’s report were unfamiliar with me, so I began checking out a few of the company’s web sites. That’s when I found BitDefender and knew it would be the one.
With the free edition, the user is able to scan for malware on their phone’s storage devices as well as in applications. BitDefender also offers the ability to remotely locate a device anywhere in the world. If you subscribe to their premium service, however, you are also equipped with web security on the default Android browser as well as remote lock and wipe capabilities.
Another handy feature of the premium version is the ability to send an alert to the device in case you’ve lost it locally… such as in your couch cushions. Twitter, Facebook and even Identity Theft protection services are also offered. When paired with a compatible BitDefender PC product, parental controls can be enabled as well as Safebox, BitDefender’s backup service. Most features are available through a convenient web control panel as seen above.
Every experience with this application has been great. Geolocation tracks my phone to its exact location. I haven’t worried when sideloading .apks onto my device thanks to the scanner running every time an app is installed. Even when I run a manual scan, it’s quick and efficient… around a minute on my Galaxy Nexus gets through all installed applications as well as all storage. The Application Audit feature tells me what each of my installed apps have access to (Internet, privacy features, and what may cost extra) on my device. The message/alert feature works great, as shown above.
So, if you’re on Android 2.2 or higher and in the market for a stealthy antivirus solution, BitDefender has you covered. Have any experiences with antivirus solutions for Android, BitDefender or otherwise? Drop them in the comments below!
Google Play Link: BitDefender Mobile Security (Free)