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  1. #1
    iNET Interactive
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    Mobile security: Apps to protect Android devices




    TOP STORY

    Mobile security: Apps to protect Android devices


    By Fred Langa

    There are hundreds of free and paid security apps for Android phones and tablets. But many of those offerings are of uncertain quality. Here's a sampling of some of the best software for keeping Android devices free of malware, managing passwords, locking up your data, and more.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/top-story/mobile-security-apps-to-protect-android-devices (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

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  3. #2
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    Hi- great review but a few omissions I'd like to add for a few of your categories:
    1) Malwarebytes is a free service from one of the best (and free).
    2) Cerberus is a great utility for lost phones and ability to track/disable
    3) Lastpass is also a very good password manager that works on your desktop also.

    Both are worthy additions to your review.

    Thanks!
    David

  4. #3
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    The newsletter is called Windows Secrets for a reason. Has it now become Android Secrets? If your leading (and essentially ONLY) article in the free edition is about Android, then you have lost your way. Publish that in your Android Secrets newsletter. The free issue should at least have a worthy article about Windows, not something else.

  5. #4
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    Does any of this apply to Kindles? Kindles are Android devices but can't use Google Play (as far as I know). What's up with that anyway? What's Google got against Kindle. A money thing, I suppose.
    Thanks,
    CB

  6. #5
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    I'm using the free Comodo Mobile Security, which not only protects from malware but also enables you to password lock apps, along with various other useful features.

  7. #6
    3 Star Lounger Backspacer's Avatar
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    Thank you for this article! I will be studying it and these comments very closely because I've been pretty worried about Android security.

    You know what OS has the largest installed base in the world? Linux. Why? Partly cost - most implementations of it aren't really free anymore, but it's still possible if you are determined. But to a great extent also due to security. Especially in the server world. Microsoft never paid much attention to security. It has become more and more secure by patching problems as they arise, but the basic OS just isn't designed to be secure. It appears that Google - that weird building full of brilliant narcissists - paid no attention to learning from the mistakes of others and so Android is not very secure, either.

    So guess what? You can now buy a tablet computer with Linux on it. And it looks awfully nice in the glossies, though I've never seen it in action. It seems like it is only a matter of time until you can get a phone with Linux on it, too. Then Android: watch out!

  8. #7
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cblounger View Post
    Does any of this apply to Kindles? Kindles are Android devices but can't use Google Play (as far as I know). What's up with that anyway? What's Google got against Kindle. A money thing, I suppose.
    Thanks,
    CB
    Kindle offers its own Apps, through the Amazon Marketplace. These include security Apps.


    OTHER NOTES:
    Linux has the most installations in the world only because of embedded versions in literally billions of devices. Java also has a claim in that department. Actual Linux desktop penetration remains around 4% worldwide. This does not classify Android, the most prevalent non-desktop OS in the world as a Linux distro (which it is not).

    Any tablet or HDMI stick with 1GB RAM and 32GB onboard storage could theoretically run pure Linux (and Android) but Desktop Linux is not suited for a purely touch-centric environment, last I looked into the issue. With Android Tablets now going over to Intel Atom Baytrail 64-bit architecture, the ARM obstacle has been largely reduced. Ubuntu was working on an ARM version, but last I knew this project was incomplete. Linaro (LUbuntu) has been working on ARM for some time. For what it's worth, Android does as lousy a job of scaling up to a desktop monitor as Windows RT. So these two branches of the Nix OSes (Android and Linux) remain appropriate mostly for their own respective domains.

    While it has a similar name, KeepassX is open-source and available for all platforms, including Android. KeepassX is not the same program as Keepass for Windows. Unfortunate that there's still confusion on that point. The database structure of KeepassX is universal across all platforms, and its database can be kept on a USB stick or even in the Cloud. Only the Windows version can actually run from a USB stick directly.

    As for this being WINDOWS SECRETS, not ANDROID SECRETS, the issue has been debated from time to time here in The Lounge. I am not aware of any concensus about whether or not more or less coverage should be devoted each week to Desktop Windows, RT, Server Windows, or other OSes, especially those associated with the exploding popularity of tablets. Tablets are here to stay, and many run Android. It isn't just a phone OS anymore.

    Personally, I run mostly Linux on my laptop. But I want to keep up with Windows 8 and the upcoming Windows 9. I also still run Windows 7 on the same laptop. And my next PC will be an Android on Intel tablet, when the good ones hit American shores sometime within the next six months or so. I want to hit the ground running on any Android secrets which may help me manage my new device.

    The tech world is become a very international and cross-platform world. We all are going to have to adapt to these changes. Part of being an informed Windows user is to be informed about the OSes and devices which may connect to our business and home networks in this BYOD world.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2014-07-10 at 16:08.
    -- Bob Primak --

  9. #8
    2 Star Lounger
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    Like Dave, I'd mention LastPass also- I use it on the desktop so adding it to Android is a no-brainer. You really don't want 2 password systems.

    I also use ESET AV on the desktop and see they also have an Android version on sale for $10 per year, $15 for 2 years. It has the main features I'm looking for.

    Thanks for the great article though - it spelled out what to look for.

  10. #9
    2 Star Lounger
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    Backspacer - Android is a flavour of Linux. The reason Linux has the largest base is because of Android devices.
    When Android took off, Microsoft lost half it's market share of devices in a couple of years.

    Ken - they explained this prior. A large % of Windows users do not have a Windows phone. They're serving their market base. As you can subscribe to the full newsletter (this time with Fred and Susan on Windows) for next to nothing, you'd find it well worth the minimal cost. And then you'd be supporting their work rather than complaining about what you got for nothing.

  11. #10
    3 Star Lounger Backspacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidFB View Post
    Backspacer - Android is a flavour of Linux. The reason Linux has the largest base is because of Android devices.
    Ah, I hadn't thought of that. But Ubuntu has announced its notepad version and it looks a lot slicker than Android. At least the stuff they show looks a lot better than the stuff on my phone.

    Incidentally - about Windows -vs- Android Secrets: an awful lot of us have Android devices and they sync and/or plug directly into our Windows computers. So I think it is of value to Windows users to be kept abreast of Android security. And of anything pertaining to Windows such as how to sync the devices and the ramifications of it, apps that let us use our Windows computers remotely or interface with apps on our Windows computers, and so on. Any way that Android impacts Windows seems like a reasonable subject to me. I think that things like reviews of the latest pong game (only for an example) or how to sync with Apple computers (don't know if they can and don't care) probably do not belong here. But our editors seem bright enough to have already figured that out for themselves. :-)

  12. #11
    3 Star Lounger Backspacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    ... and the upcoming Windows 9.
    Windows 9? Already? Ack!!!

  13. #12
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Backspacer View Post
    Windows 9? Already? Ack!!!
    Well, a year or so from now. Put your stick shift in neutral again.

    Umm, folks -- Android and Linux branched away from each other shortly after Apple and Linux went their separate ways. Calling Android a flavor of Linux is like calling Linux a flavor of Unix. The shoes just don't fit anymore.

    Android is not more prevalent worldwide than desktop Windows. Facts are still facts. The Gartner Stats in this ZDNet article only cover mobile devices (tablets and phones), and do not cover PCs and workstations.

    As stated in my earlier post, I totally agree that Android devices are more and more becoming part of the Windows PC and networking ecosystem.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2014-07-10 at 17:15.
    -- Bob Primak --

  14. #13
    3 Star Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    I for one applaud a bit of android thrown in w/ the mix. I am sure the Android articles will still be a minority and the lounge does have an alt os forum. Android does tend to attract the same sort of techy folk who frequent this lounge and provide so much useful info to us all.

    PS cblounger I am fairly sure Google Play is available on Kindles if you are willing to fuss a bit, check out the appropriate forum for your dev @ http://forum.xda-developers.com.


    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  15. #14
    New Lounger
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    I have been a subscriber to Windows Secrets paid edition for as long as I can remember and also to Fred Langa's site before it was swallowed by WS. I originally came in to make a mild rebuke about the top story in WS being all about Android. The clue is in the name. Having just spent the last twenty minutes trying to navigate my way here through the WS equivalent of the Kremlin Walls and stupid out of date security checking that I am so incensed that I have cancelled future subscription. What used to be a fantastic and eagerly awaited newsletter has become less and less informative and now is outreached by many other tech newsletters out there. Good bye Fred and good look with Android Secrets in the future.

  16. #15
    3 Star Lounger Backspacer's Avatar
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    I guess we all have our bad days...

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