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Consumer Reports: Smartphone Security Apps

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - As the use of mobile devices keeps growing, the need to protect your information is becoming a bigger concern.

Most mobile devices run on Android systems.

Consumer Reports just tested more than a dozen apps designed to keep Android devices safe.

Solomon Nasser landed in the repair shop when he ran into trouble with his smartphone.

"It just basically stopped working," Nasser said.

The problems had also spread to his computer.

"Well, they both picked up a virus when I downloaded an app, a free app, from the Internet," Nasser said.

Consumer Reports just tested 16 Android security apps designed to keep your smartphone or tablet safe.

"These apps protect you against online threats like viruses and malware, and they also help you, if your phone is lost or stolen, to remotely lock it or find it or wipe it," Dean Gallea from Consumer Reports said.

Testers checked to see how well each app protects a user's privacy and also assessed extras the apps have to offer.

"We looked at the apps' ease of use and also their versatility, including such features as being able to back up your phone or parental controls," Gallea said.

While some of the apps cost as much as $40 a year, you don't have to pay for good mobile protection.

"It turns out you can't go by price, because some of the best apps we tested were free, and some of the lower-rated ones were the more expensive ones," Gallea said.

In fact, one of the best is free.

It's the Avast Mobile Security and Anti-Virus app.

It has nice features like parental controls, automatic backup, and an alarm you can activate if you lose your device.

iPhones are less susceptible to viruses and malware because Apple's store is the only source for apps.

There have been few reports of any problems.

However, no phone is immune to theft.

If you have an iPhone, you can use the Find My iPhone feature to locate your phone on a map or remotely lock or delete all data to prevent a thief from accessing it.


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