With mobile devices becoming the go to device for internet access, we have to address some of the issues that our computers have dealt with in the past: viruses and security threats. The big problem with this is not that many people have security in mind when they whip out their phone.

It’s just a phone after all so why bothering hacking it right?

Not necessarily. After all, technology has grown so much we use our phone for everything. From making payments to storing all kinds of data like banking info, credit card numbers, and our entire identity. As such, hackers have grown as well in recent years too.

Because of this sensitive information, it’s up to us to protect it. Fortunately app makers for Apple and Android phones are a step ahead and have created some helpful apps to help protect your security against hackers.

Best of all, the apps I’ll be suggesting are free so go ahead and pick which one suits your fancy.

For Apple: Avira Mobile Security

Avira Mobile Security is a security app developed and designed by Avira. It has all kinds of security features that protect you from all kinds of attacks such as phishing amongst others.

What’s also neat about this app is that it works similarly to Find My iPhone as well in that you can track lost devices as well as perform various operations like data erase and device tracking. Here’s a general run down of what the app can do:

  • It’s a security app you can get that offers web protection. This is the app behind protecting you from phishing sites. If it’s unsafe, the app will warn you it’s unsafe.
  • The app will notify you if there are any threats or attempts that may impact your identity being revealed.
  • It can help protect your device in the event that it’s lost or stolen. You can also use this feature to track your device’s location too.
  • Most important is the free antivirus. This will protect you from all kinds of malicious programs that try to attach to your phone.

For Android: Kaspersky Mobile Antivirus

Kaspersky is one of Android’s top security app and it sets a high bar. By far it’s one of the best out there for Androids for various reasons. Its free version manually scans your apps for viruses and malware.

The only catch to this particular app is there is a premium version which offers even more features. I’d say the upgrade is worth it as the premium features provide real-time protection, anti-phishing, anti-theft, as well as an app locker to protect your apps too.

It’s a shame a lot of the security features are locked behind a premium version, however you can access those features for 30 days via a free trial.

Some other key features the app can provide are:

  • Call filters which will allow you to block unwanted and spam calls.
  • Has a find my phone function for tracking.
  • Will check all your apps in the background for any malware or viruses.
  • Provides a solid protection against everything viruses, trojans, and malware.

For Android: Avast Mobile Security

One other alternative is Avast Mobile Security. Avast over the years has protected so many users all across the globe and on several platforms and clearly it’s doing a good job.

It’s also easy to use this app as with a single tap of a button, the app will begin scanning for viruses, infected apps, and trojans. It also provides complete protection against many viruses and spyware automatically.

The free version of this app is more robust than Kaspersky. It provides all around protection against any kind of virus or other threats among other things.

The in-app upgrades also feel like significant upgrades as well. Premium will remove ads and grant access to features like app locking, SIM security, camera trap, and more.

Other notable features are:

  • App insights telling you how much screen time is spent on certain apps.
  • Junk cleaner which will wipe cache and residual files.
  • A photo vault which secures photos from unwanted access.
  • A web shield protecting you while you’re web browsing.

For Android: Bitdefender Antivirus Free

Another suitable contender for Android phones is Bitdefender Antivirus Free. Right out the door it offers protection against any major threat to your Android phone. It’s also incredibly lightweight in terms of antivirus apps. That’s because it uses cloud scanning technology which not only provides users with super-fast scanning, but also have it not take up much space. Compared to other apps, it’s highly unlikely you’ll see this app slow down your device or eat up your battery. You also get real-time protection and the ability to scan your installed apps for threats.

All of that is for free, however the paid version offers more to its users. You can get a 14 day free trial and see for yourself. The paid version overall provides malware scanning, account privacy, anti-theft, web security, and has an app locker too.

Other features of Bitdefender are:

  • Integrated VPN for accessing websites that are blocked.
  • Smart unlock which will unlock apps that are connected to a trusted Wi-fi connection.
  • Web protection which will scan for malware and adware while browsing.
  • Supports Android Wear devices.

For Apple: Find My iPhone

Believe it or not, but this app has a built in security features you may not have expected. This app is developed by Apple and is by default on every iPhone you get. As the name suggests, Find My iPhone is essentially a device tracking app which will allow you to locate your phone via the internet.

It might not be able to protect you from malware or other viruses but this is a good start if you need some protection. Not to mention it’s easy to use the app.

Some other notable features are:

  • Play Sound which will play a sound at maximum volume to help you find where it is if your phone is nearby.
  • Lost Mode which can flag your device as either lost or stolen. Once this feature is on, it’ll lock your device and protect your data.
  • Erase iPhone function which will erase all personal data and other information if your device can’t be located.

For Apple: Wickr

If you need something more robust, one other option is Wickr. It’s developed by a group in San Francisco who typically makes IM (instant messaging) applications. Wickr kind of envelops security with IM in that it offers protection but also serves as a secure network for you to contact people through. The only catch is you need other people to have the app as well.

But it’s not that big of a sell though since the learning curve to this app isn’t that steep. On top of that there isn’t a requirement to make a Wickr account. This means they don’t need an email address or a phone number. Even your address book is private to them and isn’t stored on any of their servers.

It’s definitely a unique app, but some other functions you might not have expected are:

– Every message you send is end-to-end encrypted. Wickr will never store or access messages you send without your permission.
– It does have an antivirus feature. Also there aren’t any ads.
– This is one of the few apps on this list that both Android, Apple, and Linux can access.

For Android: Norton Security & Antivirus

Norton Security is a company that has been in the security business for years. Of course they’ll have an app built for smartphone security as well.

For this particular version, it’s actually pretty impressive. Even the free version is pretty good compared to other free security plans. Right out the door, this particular app more or less provides a 100% detection rate and will remove malware, viruses, or spyware on your Android device.

It’ll also trigger an alarm in the event your phone is missing, remote lock a device to prevent data theft, and block unwanted calls or SMS.

The app obviously has a premium feature available but one thing to note is that Norton also has a few stand alone apps that offer some of those security features for free. Of note are the app locker and password manager which you can get access to via the Play Store.

All in all Norton is one of the most reliable security app around.

Other notable features are:

  • WiFi scanning to let you know about unsecured wi-fi connections.
  • Safe search capability which will flag unsafe websites during browsing.
  • Call blocking which shuts down unwanted calls and spam.
  • Sneak Peek which allows you to take photographs and lets you see if someone is accessing your device without your permission.

For Apple: Lookout – Security & Identity Theft Protection

Another app developed by another San Francisco-based security company, Lookout is a full fledged security app. Coincidentally, this app is also developed for both Android and iOS and offers a wide variety of features entirely for free.

Of note the app provides:

  • A system advisor which will alert you if your device is in danger or if your device is jailbroken.
  • Has a theft alert function which will send you an email with the location of where your device is in the event of it being lost or stolen.
  • Has a unique feature in social media watch. This feature will check your social media accounts for personal information security.

For Android: Sophos Mobile Security

Another big contender in the security industry is Sophos. In 2016, Sophos was the 2016 winner at the AV-TEST awards. This is impressive, especially since the company is a independent IT security institute.

As you’d expect, the company has a fantastic and free security app. It’s ad-free and provides numerous features. Features such as malware protection, theft protection, app locking, and even a security advisor.

This security advisor will give you tips on how you can improve the security of your device, block callers, authentication and more.

Because of these amazing features, this app has over 1 million downloads and is a suitable contender to Norton’s antivirus app.

Other key features to know about are:

  • Web filtering which will block malicious sites.
  • Protects your apps via passcode requirements.
  • WiFi security which will protect you from middlemen accessing your phone.
  • Call protection which blocks out spam.

For Apple: Pic Lock 3 Ultimate

The final security app I’ll talk about is an app that has quite popular for various reasons. Pic Lock 3 Ultimate is mainly a security app to protect you from harmful threats. While it’s specific, it hasn’t stopped over 2.8 million users from downloading this app and using it in their daily lives. There are all kinds of security features worth looking over.

Among the many of them, the notable ones are:

  • An application locker which locks photos and video apps from unauthorized users.
  • Location tracker to help find your device should it get lost or stolen.
  • A surveillance system which will take a shot of the person in the event they input the passcode to your phone incorrectly.
  • Private browsing which allows you to browse any website privately similarly to functions that Google Chrome and Firefox have.

Try These Security Apps And Protect Yourself

Your security is your business and is your responsibility to protect yourself. This means being aware of what is out there that can compromise your security and taking preventative measures to stop it. Like I said before, these apps are all free to use so you can easily find some protection with little to no problem.

Take your pick, put the name in the respective app store and go and get it. It’s always good to be safe.