Posted by Chris Martin 21 October 2013
5 of the best security apps for tablets and smartphones
Having a smartphone or a tablet is like carrying around a portable computer and, as such, they are at risk from security threats. With millions of users around the world, it’s no wonder these always-connected device are being targeted.
Here are some great apps that can keep your device free of malware by preventing you downloading dodgy apps or browsing malicious sites. Some can even help out if your lose your precious gadget.
Rather than just naming five of the apps by big name antivirus firms, we've rounded up a selection of different security apps.
Lookout Security & Antivirus
Lookout covers your back in a number of ways. For starters, it offers protection against viruses, malware, adware and spyware, with continuous app scanning to help it detect suspicious behaviour.
In case you lose your precious device it also has a find my phone facility, which will sound an alarm, save the location if the device’s battery is low, and email you a photo of the culprit and location data should someone enter an incorrect passcode five times. Last but not least, it lets you back up and download your contacts.
Available on: Android, iOS
It's common-sense to protect the data stored on our phones and tablets, but doing so shouldn't make them any less convenient in use. Having to key in a passcode or draw onscreen a pattern each time you want to use your device can be a real pain. I don't want others to nosey through my messages or tell my Facebook friends I'm on the loo, yet I have nothing to hide in many of my other apps and absolutely no problem should someone want to pinch my phone and complete the next level of Candy Crush Saga.
AppLock is a great solution to this problem, letting you lock down only the apps to which you want to avoid prying eyes. You simply install the free Android app, set up a passcode, then toggle on or off the sliders in the list of installed apps. AppLock can also prevent others from installing or uninstalling apps, force-stopping the app and answering incoming calls.
A premium version of AppLock (59p/month or £1.95/year) includes extra features such as the ability to lock apps in a given location or at a certain time, set up profiles and more.
Available on: Android
AVG AntiVirus Security
If you want a security app from a respected provider that has been making trusted security software for years, AVG is a solid bet. The free app for smartphones and tablets is packed with features. It offers real-time scanning of apps, settings, files and media, and it can also attempt to locate a lost device on Google Maps and lock or wipe its contents.
AVG has a handy task killer and a battery monitor to help improve performance. It will also scan websites for threats when you’re browsing the web on your mobile device. More features are available in the paid-for Pro version.
Price: Free - £9.49
Available on: Android
If you struggle to remember different passwords and end up using the same one for all your online accounts, 1Password will be a great help. You create a master password and the app remembers the rest. Not only will it generate strong and unique passwords for any site, it will remember credit-card details, bank account logins, notes and passports.
Furthermore, it has a built-in web browser and sensitive information is blanked out to stop anyone seeing it. It will also synchronise details between devices. Just make sure you keep that master password to yourself.
Available on: iOS
Private Photo Vault
If you want to safeguard the precious snaps stored on your smartphone or tablet, look no further than Private Photo Vault (pictured above). The app demands passcode entry in order to authorise access to content captured by your camera.
A Pro version adds features such as a decoy password, pattern lock and break-in report. You’ll also need to get the Pro version to add support for video content.
Price: Free – £1.99
Available on: iOS