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Best Android antivirus and mobile security apps 2016

Update: LastPass Authenticator added

Authored by: Kris Carlon — 1 month ago

Considering how often malware scams in the Google Play Store are reported, we thought it was wise to drop a list of apps for keeping your device protected. We've updated this list for 2016 and chopped out the apps that no longer cut it. Whether you are looking to keep your phone safe from theft or a trojan, these are the best antivirus and security apps for Android in 2016. 

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Here are the best antivirus and security apps for Android. / © ANDROIDPIT

1. CM Security: best malware protection

CM security (Clean Master) is an award-winning security option and provides some of the best malware protection on Android. It's made by Cheetah Mobile, a research company that produces credible reports on the state of the Android platform with regard to all things scam, and its dedicated app is fast and comprehensive. 

androidpit cm security antivirus app
CleanMaster Security knows its business because it research malware for a living. / © Cheetah Mobile
CM Security Antivirus AppLock Install on Google Play

2. 360 Security - Antivirus: best real-time protection

360 (formerly known as Qihoo) is a long-standing and popular Android antivirus app with all the bells and whistles required to protect your phone. Naturally, it has an antivirus engine, which automatically scans your files and updates its definitions.

Each installation, whether from the Play Store or beyond, has to pass through 360 real-time protection before it can end up on your phone. On top of that, 360 is a system cleaner that cleans out junk files, frees up RAM and has some neat power-saving features too.

androidpit 360 antivirus
360 Security is the new name for Qihoo, one of the most robust antivirus apps. / © 360 Mobile Security Limited
360 Security - Antivirus Boost Install on Google Play

3. Kaspersky Internet Security: best anti-phishing protection

The PC version of Kaspersky is regularly showered with accolades and often voted the best internet security suite you can get. The free mobile version offers all the standard anti-malware protection you'd expect, as well as a whole host of anti-theft features.

Upgrade to the premium version (US$14.95 for one year), and you get anti-phishing protection for your text messaging, cloud protection and privacy protection when you surf the web.

androidpit kaspersky
One of the best PC internet security suites does a good job on Android too. / © Kaspersky Lab
Kaspersky Internet Security Install on Google Play

4. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware: best privacy manager

Malwarebytes built its reputation as one of the most lightweight PC protection tools around. The free Android version is a chip off the old block, focusing on ease-of-use rather than tons of features. It offers anti-malware protection, a privacy manager, and also scans apps that are behaving suspiciously.

The developers have also stayed ahead of the curve by integrating Malwarebytes with Android Device Manager – the remote tracking/anti-theft Android feature that effectively negates such features on many Android antivirus suites.

androidpit malwarebytes
The Android version of Malwarebytes protects your device with minimal fuss. / © Malwarebytes
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Install on Google Play

5. AVL: best interface

AVL antivirus is an efficient Android security option with an intuitive user-interface. While it doesn't include some of the more advanced anti-theft features that can be found in similar apps, it's great for your basic protection needs and less likely to impact your battery or damage performance than some. AVL comes highly recommended. 

androidpit avl for android
AVL antivirus is a lean, clean virus-fighting machine.© AVL Team
AVL Install on Google Play

6. AVG Antivirus Security: best for protection and anti-theft

AVG Antivirus is a free application that protects your smartphone in real time from viruses, malicious applications and other spyware. You can review your applications but also your files, settings and more.

There's even an option to close apps that are significantly slowing your smartphone down or abusing your battery. Also, if you lose your device, you can block or delete your information and locate your device via Google Maps.

androidpit avg antivirus security
AVG is a well-known name in antivirus, and you can wipe your device remotely if necessary. © AVG
AVG AntiVirus FREE for Android Install on Google Play

7. Norton Security Antivirus: best premium version

Norton Security Antivirus is a free application that blocks and removes malware. Pay for the premium version, and you get a whole load more features, such as remote locking and Sneak Peak, which takes photos of people using your device if you've flagged it as stolen.

The premium version also includes App Advisor, which automatically checks apps for privacy risks, high battery use and suspicious behavior.

androidpit norton mobile security
Norton Mobile Security is a one-stop shop for, you guessed it, mobile security. © NortonMobile
Norton Security and Antivirus Install on Google Play

8. avast! Antivirus & Security: most features

With avast!, it is possible to perform automatic scans of your installed apps, the contents of your memory card as well as apps that you're about to install. avast! also has SMS/call filtering and blocking and – in the case of theft – there are also remote lock and wipe options, GPS tracking, siren alert and even a notification if someone attempts to switch out SIM cards. Other features include a firewall, web shield and network meter.

avast mobile security app sperre
avast! includes remote locking, wiping, and a firewall, among many other things. © AVAST Software
Mobile Security & Antivirus Install on Google Play

9. LastPass Authenticator: best app protection

LastPass has had a password manager app for some time, letting you store all your passwords in one safe location under a single master password. Now, the team behind it have expanded to provide a two-factor authentication tool. Lastpass Authenticator generates a 6-digit code that you enter to verify your account. It works with LastPass's own password manager, as well as any TOTP-compatible apps. 

While there are other authenticators like this out there, including Google Authenticator, if you tie this service into LastPass's own ecosystem, it provides probably the best and most secure option for keeping your data safe from more physical reaches than the digital grasps addressed in the other apps on this list.

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LastPass Authenticator uses one-time codes to verify your login attempts. / © ANDROIDPIT
LastPass Authenticator Install on Google Play

You may recall that TrustGo's Antivirus & Mobile Security was on previous version of this list. While it was credible at the time, and still has more than 10 million downloads, this app hasn't been updated since 2014 and given the frequency with which new threats are created, we can no longer recommend it. 

Have you ever suffered from a virus, Trojan or malware on your Android? What do you think is the best Android antivirus app and why? Tell us about it in the comments.

Kris is a former AndroidPIT Editor who came to the team via a lengthy period spent traveling and relying on technology to keep him in touch with the outside world. He can usually be found juggling three phones at once and poring over G+ posts, Reddit and RSS feeds.

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