Honeygain Explains: Choosing a Reliable Antivirus App for Your Phone
Chances are, you have been hearing about the importance of using antivirus software ever since you got your first computer and connected it to the internet. Cybersecurity enthusiasts have been researching computer viruses and building tools to protect the systems against them ever since the early 1990s. Naturally, most of us now see antivirus software as a computer part as crucial as, let’s say, the keyboard.
Mobile phones, on the other hand, are a different story. They’re full of private information, and we use them for browsing just as much (if not more) as we do computers – and yet, millions of people around the world never give mobile antivirus apps a second thought. This is partly because some popular smartphone operating systems actually include antivirus software, making their users think their choice of OS guarantees them protection and online security from the get-go… But can you really trust them?
For iOS fans
If you’re an iPhone user, you can breathe out with ease. Apple only allows installing apps from its official App Store, which is known for its careful vetting and approval processes: not only is every app tested manually and required to support sandboxing, but static analysis is also performed on its binary code.
This means the risk of a virus-containing app landing on Apple’s App Store is virtually non-existent – and as no other sources are permitted, the users have no chance of catching the virus. While some ironically call this ‘the walled-garden approach’, it protects iOS users and allows them to not worry about picking and using antivirus software at all.
Nevertheless, you can still find security apps built for iOS available for download. That is because security is not limited to guarding your device against viruses: it can also mean protection from internet-based issues (e.g., phishing) or even physical loss or theft of your device. However, while these programs are sometimes mislabeled, they are not technically antivirus.
Here are some of the apps you might want to check out if you wish to improve the security of your iPhone and/or iPad:
- Avast Security & Privacy can identify and block malicious websites, as well as unsafe Wi-Fi networks. It also includes a threats and vulnerabilities scan, an encrypted VPN, and identity protection features that alert you if your online accounts are compromised. Avast shares security and privacy tips on a regular basis to help you employ the best practices, too!
- Avira Mobile Security protects you as you surf by offering a VPN for privacy, blocking all phishing or fraud attempts, and regularly checking whether your email address hasn’t fallen victim to data leaks. In addition to that, it will help you locate a lost device using a sound signal or allow for its remote locking/wiping.
For Android users
The main difference between using iOS and Android is the fact that with Android, you can download and install apps from anywhere: you are not limited to the official Play Store. While it does offer a much wider range of software a user can enjoy, it also means a much higher chance of getting your device infected with malware if you choose an unauthorized source you shouldn’t actually trust.
We constantly remind our existing and potential users to only download Honeygain from our official website: this way, they can always be sure they're getting not just a safe installer but also the latest version of our app.
However, even if Android users make up the absolute majority of our users, Honeygain is just one of many apps running on your devices. According to a software development company Simform, the average person has around 40 apps installed on their smartphone and uses 18 of them excessively – which translates to dozens of opportunities to get your device infected with malware. In this case, using a mobile antivirus app is an absolute must.
Which app should you choose? Here are a few worthy options:
- Bitdefender Mobile Security & Antivirus includes an anonymous VPN and a virus and malware scanner, as well as web protection against phishing and fraud. In case of theft or loss of your device, it protects your personal data and guards your apps with a PIN or biometrics. Bitdefender also sends you weekly security reports and performs regular checks on your email accounts to inform you about data breaches in time.
- AVG AntiVirus Free & Mobile Security scans the apps and files you download, the websites you visit, and the Wi-Fi networks you connect to and alerts you of any possible threats it detects. In addition to this, it also helps you improve your phone’s performance by identifying the files and processes that slow it down and informs you if any of your accounts get compromised in data breaches.
- Kaspersky Mobile Antivirus: AppLock & Web Security scans your device for malware and blocks it automatically. It also protects you from phishing and other threats you might encounter on the web by running a web filter and securing your information with its Anti-Phishing feature. Loss or theft? Find My Phone will help you locate your device, App Lock will guard your data, and Anti-Theft will allow you to wipe it remotely.
What about Android’s inbuilt antivirus software?
If you’re an Android user, you might be thinking: ‘Wait… But I’ve got Google Play Protect – Android’s inbuilt antivirus software. Why would I need anything else?’ Well, we’re sorry to burst your bubble… But Play Protect is very far from a superb malware defense.
A few months ago, AV-TEST – an autonomous organization that evaluates security software – released its latest Android antivirus app report. Not only has Google Play Protect displayed the absolute worst results out of 15 apps tested, but it came nowhere near the app that was the second-to-last spot: Ikarus was 14th with 16 out of 18 possible points, and Play Protect only managed to score 6. And you know what’s even worse? The results basically mirrored the ones from AV-TEST’s last year’s report – meaning Play Protect didn’t improve one bit (unlike, for example, AVG AntiVirus Free & Mobile Security, which jumped from 16 to 18 points).
There are two ways an app could prove to be unreliable:
- A fake negative: a malware app gets identified as legit and passes the test
- A fake positive: a legit app gets identified as malware and is unnecessarily blocked
Unfortunately, when tested by AV-TEST, Play Protect failed in both cases: it failed to detect 31.2% of the real-time malware samples and 23.3% of the reference malware samples, and issued malware alerts on 70+ legit applications that contained absolutely no threats for the users. This is far from its first failure, either: in 2017, Play Protect actually disabled Bluetooth on thousands of Motorola Moto G4 devices by incorrectly marking a system app Bluetooth Share 7.0 as a virus and disabling it!
So, what’s the conclusion?
Ultimately, you should follow a careful approach when using antivirus applications: the default version is not always the best, and doing a little research can help you stay a whole lot safer. You can also protect yourself by only opting to download applications from official sources and learning more about the red flags that can help you identify a fake app before it’s too late!
Here at Honeygain, we prioritize user security above all else – and we’re happy to know our users feel safe when using our app: in our latest user survey, 70%+ of the respondents said they feel completely safe (5/5) on Honeygain. If you’d like to join Honeygain’s crowdsourced web intelligence network, safely share your internet connection, help businesses worldwide and generate passive income – now’s a great time to get on board!
Click the button below and register your account now to collect a $2 starting gift! 👇