Since so many of us have a smartphone in our pockets, there is an ongoing debate on how to protect the information these devices contain. When most people think of keeping their phones safe, they think of making sure it doesn’t get lost or stolen. They don’t typically think of how their phones could lead them to identity theft.
Even if you never physically lose your phone, there are still countless opportunities for thieves to access your information, especially through downloadable apps. In one recent example, a Trojan virus posing as a media player infected Android phones in Russia. Not only does your phone does store a lot of sensitive data, concerns for malware have risen in recent years.
Luckily, there are plenty of security applications available that have, for the most part, kept up with these kinds of threats. Here is part two of the top 10 (in no particular order):
- ESET Mobile Security & Antivirus
The app may be fairly basic compared to others, but it’s user-friendly, free and still performs a range of important functions, like scanning apps for malware. It also offers tools like remote locking. If you’re looking for additional support, you can purchase a premium account for $20 a year that can offer anti-phishing, app audits, device monitoring and advanced call blocking.
- Avira Antivirus Security
In its free version, Avira offers an impressive array of security tools. Not only can you scan apps on your own, Avira will automatically scan new or updated downloads. As with most other security apps, it also lets you lock the phone, erase its contents and set off an alarm. The application also has a feature that can notify you when an email account has been leaked or compromised. You’re also able to block or “blacklist” certain callers.
While the app isn’t free, it’s received positive reviews from AV-Test, which rates security apps on their ability to identify potential threats. Tom’s Guide writes that this app has “flawless” malware protection and privacy tools and is likely well worth the $15 per year subscription fee.
- NetQin Anti-virus
With an emphasis on its “Anti-lost feature,” this free app focuses on recovering lost or stolen phones. Users can track their phones, wipe or lock content, and activate an alarm. According to PC World, this app is ideal for anyone who tends to lose their phone and can’t afford to replace it.
If you’re looking for very basic but strong malware protection, AVL might be the ideal app for you. With a 99.8 percent detection rate and minimal impact on your phone’s speed or battery life, AVL offers a no-frills approach to mobile protection.
Your phone, just like any other electronic device or valuable item, needs your protection. Downloading a security app is one way to reduce the risk of identity theft. For more help protecting yourself from ID theft, you can invest in a service like Identity Guard to monitor your credit file and Social Security Number and notify you of certain activity that could be indicative of fraud.
Investing in an identity theft protection service has never been more critical. Our data and information can go everywhere with us via cellphones and is vulnerable to both physical and digital threats—so our first line of defense against identity theft has to be detection. When we can detect or become aware that our information is being used maliciously we can act to stop it and minimize the negative effects on our financial and personal lives.