Featured Android App Review: Bitdefender Mobile Security & Antivirus [Tools]

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When it comes to malware and viruses regarding Android, a lot of people like to put fear in you. I am not here to do that, because I personally think it’s unlikely you will get anything serious as long as you’re dealing with the Google Play Store or Amazon Appstore. With that said, it doesn’t mean you should go without a mobile security app because they serve several purposes. Bitdefender has always been one of the leaders when it comes to PC security so it’s no surprise that they offer an Android app. It’s simply called Bitdefender Mobile Security & Antivirus and it’s has a lot of features for the money.

There is actually four parts to Bitdefender: Malware Scanning, Application Auditing, Web Security, and Anti-Theft Protection. Each area is highlighted by its own icon in the main page of the app, and they are very easy to setup and use. The Malware Scanner couldn’t be easier. Just choose if you want your microSD to be scanned or not and then hit “Start scanning”. It will scan your phone/tabet and your microSD card (if you selected yes) in quick fashion. Hopefully you will get “No malware was detected,” but if there is any issue, Bitdefender will alert you. Also, every time you install an app, Bitdefender will automatically scan it and alert you if there is any issue with it. Now as I mentioned, it’s unlikely you will get a malicious app from the Play Store, but there are still apps that push ads constantly or automatically install other apps that are a nuisance. These aren’t considered malicious and they won’t necessarily hurt you in anyway, but you may not want to deal with them either. Bitdefender will alert of you of these types of apps right after you have installed them to give you a chance to remove them right away. At the same time, if you install a lot of apps by sideloading APKs, you have a higher risk of something being malicious, so Bitdefender will help you stop trouble before it happens.

Next up is Application Auditing. Each and every app installed on your device has permissions. Most of them are for good reason, but most people rarely look at the permissions before they install an app. At anytime you can tap on Application Audit, and Bitdefender will give you a quick glance of each app. You can quickly see which ones have internet access, privacy control, or could cost you money (in app purchases). If any app looks suspicious to you, you can tap on the app and be taken to the app info page where you can get a better look at exactly what permissions were granted. If you don’t like what you see, you can easily uninstall from this page. It should be noted that you can find this information in your basic settings in Android without Bitdefender by going to Settings/Apps/Downloaded. Just tap on whichever app you want, and it will take you to the same App info page. If you have a lot of apps though, Bitdefender does make it easier to get a quick glance of what apps have the general permissions I stated above.

Web Security is the next section and it will make sure you don’t open websites that could be malicious. It’s just a matter of either turning Web Security on or off. If left on, it will run in the background and if a site you are trying to open is questionable, it will warn you. From what I can see, it will only work with the stock browser that came with your phone or tablet.

Last but not least is Anti-Theft protection. For many of you, this just might be enough of a reason to install Bitdefender. We carry our phones/tablets with us everywhere, and since none of us are perfect, we can leave our prized possession somewhere by mistake. Someone could also steal it from us when we aren’t looking. Bitdefender’s Anti-Theft protection works like most other services in that it can track where your device is located and send you a SMS text message if the SIM card is replaced. You can also send commands to your lost phone via the Bitdefender website or by sending an SMS text message from any other phone. On the website, you can not only see the location of your device, but you can lock or wipe your phone. You can even send a written message to pop up on the device’s display. Did you ever misplace your phone in your house and can’t find it? You can also tell it to play an alarm so you can easily locate it. Lets say you don’t have access to a desktop, you can use a friend’s phone to send SMS text messages to your device to do most of the same things. You can wipe or lock you device, and you can send a message telling your lost or stolen phone to send a text back with the location. You can even tell your lost phone to call another number and turn on the speaker so you can hear the surroundings.

As you can see, Bitdefender Mobile Security & Antivirus offers a lot. Now lets talk price. You can use it for free, but you will only get the Malware Scanner, Application Auditor, and the ability to track the location of your device. For $9.95 per year, you also get Web security and complete Anti-Theft protection. That’s the same price as two Starbucks drinks. There are other apps similar to this, but I would say BitDefender is probably the best overall value. If you’re a first time user, you will get 15 days of the premium service to see what it’s like before you shell out your money. I would definitely recommend giving it a try since it won’t cost you a dime. So check out my hands on video below and hit one of the download links to get started. As always, let me know what you think.

FREE Features:

  • The NEW Malware Scanner
  • Application Audit
  • Remote Geolocation

PAID Features, just $9.95/year:

  • The NEW Malware Scanner
  • Application Audit
  • Web Security
  • The NEW Anti‐Theft which inludes: Remotely locate, lock or wipe your device, Hear what’s happening around it, Send commands through SMS, SIM change alerts, and Password protected settings.

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  • PuzzledObserver

    Avast offers roughly the same features for free. What are the advantages of BitFender to justify $10 / year?