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.
Android needs third-party security apps
If you have an Android phone or tablet, there’s good news and bad news.
The good news: You’ve picked the world’s best-selling mobile operating system. Something like 70 percent of all new phones and tablets run Google’s OS. That’s a strong incentive for software developers to build cool applications for the platform.
The bad news: Android’s open architecture and popularity have made it a favorite target for malicious hackers, thieves, and other criminals.
Android’s built-in security features have never been strong, and even the latest version (4.4.4, as I write this) offers only modest safeguards for your personal data and communications. For that reason, all Android devices need third-party security apps in order to be safe. (Virtually no operating system, by itself, is safe from malicious hacking.)
Fortunately, there are plenty of Android security tools to choose from. The Google Play Store has all manner of free and commercial apps. Note, however, that some are junk — amateurish software that could cause crashes, hangs, slowdowns, or other problems.