If you often install apps from outside Google Play (and you well might if you’re browsing a website dedicated to alternative Android app stores!), you should consider getting a security app on your Android device. The risk of getting malevolent software is relatively low if you’re cautious about the kind of apps you install, but as the saying goes – better safe than sorry!
There are many popular options for free antivirus software on Android, many of which are offered by companies long established on the PC market, such as AVG, Avast, Norton or Kaspersky, to name a few. So many options make it hard to know which one to pick.
What’s the best antivirus app for Android, then?
At Papidroid we’re particularly fond of one Android antivirus in particular: 360 Security from Beijing-based company Qihoo. In the west, Qihoo is still a newcomer, but in China it’s more or less a household name when it comes to computer security. It’s been around for nearly 10 years in the Middle Kingdom, and their products are used monthly by over 496 million users on PC and 641 million users on mobile devices (source). Since last year the company has expanded overseas, localizing its antivirus software in English, Russian, Japanese, Spanish, German, French and Korean.
360 Security is a true Swiss army knife for your Android phone or tablet. It obviously protects you from viral attacks and monitors against malware, system vulnerabilities and privacy risks, but it also helps keep the performance of your phone optimal by removing from memory apps that are not needed any more and deleting useless junk files. There are a few additional features, like a call and SMS blocker (to keep those creepy people at bay) or an app manager that lets you uninstall apps easily.
The apps is very nicely presented, with beautiful full-screen colourful menus showing the information in a very clear way and letting you access the 4 main features: virus scan, junk cleaner, memory booster and anti-theft. A multifunctional tool bar permanently resides in the notification area and gives you instant access to some of the most useful features of your phone: alarms, recent apps and a torchlight. A tiny floating icon is also present on the desktop and tapping on it opens a small panel that lets you clean your device’s memory with a single tap and doubles as a convenient control panel for your Android device, where you can toggle wifi, Bluetooth, data, GPS, airplane mode, screen luminosity mode, auto-rotate mode, vibration, sound, etc.
In a welcome move we’d like to see generalized to all Android developers, Qihoo is very transparent about the permissions their app requires, and details the reason behind them on its website.
Best of all, and true to Papidroid’s philosophy, 360 Security is available outside of Google Play, directly from the official website, meaning you will always get the latest version from a location you can trust.