by CI Staff
avast! is a complete anti-virus and anti-theft protection for your Android device.
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For many years, avast! has been my preferred anti-virus protection on all of my personal and office computers. It is one of the first pieces of software I install when I get a new system. Even its free version has allowed me to run several systems virus-free. Seeing how well it has worked on my PCs, I recently installed it on my Samsung Galaxy Tab and am pleased to see that the same eye for detail has carried over to the mobile version.
The app is free from Google Play and after installing it you have to spend a few minutes setting it up. I suggest you register the app to give you access to all of its features.
For anyone that has ever used avast! on his computer, you will be familiar with many of the various security features of the program. However, there are also some features and capabilities that are unique for mobile devices.
Avast! performs on-demand scans of all installed apps and memory card content, as well as on-access scans of apps upon first execution. Users can schedule scans according to days of the week and specific times.
This useful feature tells users which apps have access to which data. When you choose this menu, you are shown a list of potential privacy issues. Tapping on an issue then gives you the list of affected applications. Avast! warns you of apps that can track your location, read your identity information, access SMS and MMS messages, access your contact list, access your accounts and access Web pages you open.
The Application Management menu shows you a list of all the applications currently running on your Android device as well as all of the apps you have installed. You can organize these listings by app title, CPU usage, memory used and overall size. By selecting an app, you can see the system resources it is using; the amount of network resources it has used over the last day, month and year; and the permissions it has on your device.
The Shield Control center has three different “shields”: App Shield, Web Shield and Message Shield. The App Shield scans applications on your device for viruses when you first install them and each time you run them. The Web Shield protects you against dangers you may encounter when surfing the Web, including malware, phishing websites, etc. Avast! integrates itself with multiple browsers—Android browser, Google Chrome, Amazon Silk, etc.—and alerts you whenever you navigate to a suspicious site. Lastly, the Message Shield scans incoming SMS and MMS messages for viruses, phishing and malicious URLs and can block incoming messages from unknown numbers. It also filters calls and/or messages from your contact list, redirects blocked calls to voicemail and stores blocked messages in a filter log.
The avast! Firewall allows you to block certain apps from doing certain things, such as accessing Wi-Fi, 3G and roaming data. In order to make use of the Firewall, you must have a rooted phone. However, it is a useful feature to help you limit your data usage.
Beyond the security measures outlined above, avast! Free Mobile Security has anti-theft functionality to protect your phone and information in the event your device is lost or stolen. This begins as soon as you install the app; you can choose a custom name for the app to disguise its true function, making it harder for thieves to remove it.
The anti-theft settings are divided into two categories: basic and advanced. The basic settings allow you to enter your name, choose a PIN code to allow access to the app itself, set up remote control options and set up your avast! account. The basic remote control option is where you can enter numbers that will receive text messages should your device’s SIM card be changed as well as the numbers from which you can control your device via SMS in case of loss or theft.img
The advanced options, as one might expect, is where the real security features reside. Here you can program the app to perform certain functions should the device’s SIM card be changed or if the device is marked as lost. These functions include locking the device, which you can also do remotely; sound a siren; deny program manager access; and deny phone settings access.
With the advanced settings, you can also specify a custom lock text message that will show on the device lock screen. This may include your contact information, reward information, etc. You can also have your device’s GPS to automatically turn on if a remote tracking request is received (requires root permission).
You can also protect your device against hard resets by having the app store your settings so that they are protected.
In the event your device is lost or stolen, avast! Mobile Security allows you to perform numerous tasks remotely.
The Remote Siren option sounds a loud siren when a remote command is sent. The siren always returns to maximum volume if someone tries to silence it.
The Remote Lock feature protects your data by allowing you to send a remote lock command to your device. Once this command is sent, the device cannot be accessed again without entering your custom PIN.
With the app, you can remotely locate your rooted phone via GPS, Wi-Fi or mobile network.
You can send a remote memory wipe command that triggers a full, permanent wipe of your device’s data, including all memory cards.
Lastly, you can send a remote command to have your phone call you, with the screen blocked so thieves cannot see it. That way, you can listen to the phone’s surroundings to potentially help pinpoint its location or the identity of the thief.
Avast! Mobile Security is a full-featured security suite to protect your Android device. Having used the PC version for years, I am confident in the mobile edition’s ability to protect your device from malware, phishing sites and any other potential security breaches. The added anti-theft functionality makes the app even more attractive. Best of all, the app is free. These factors combine to make avast! Mobile Security a must-have for any Android device.