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Does My Tablet Need A Security App?

Max from Virginia writes:

Is it wise to have a malware or anti-virus program installed on Android tablets?

Withe the growing popularity of tablets, they are also becoming an increasingly popular target for malicious attacks.  And with the open nature of the Google Play store, people have been known to sneak in some malicious apps.

To find security software for your tablet, head over to the Google Play Store and search security.

 You will find hundreds of apps, many of them from recognizable security names like McAfee, Norton and Avast.  Some of the apps are free and some will cost you a few dollars.  to learn more about an app, tap on it.

You’ll be able to see information about the app and usually screenshots. If you choose Norton Security antivirus, you can also view a video.

Customer reviews are a valuable resource when deciding if you want to try a new app.

 I will caution you that just because an app is free to download, it doesn’t mean the security protection service remains free.  One app that is both free and well-reviewed is AVAST Mobile Security and Antivirus.

Click on Mobile Security & Antivirus by AVAST software then click install. Once installed open avast! mobile.

The main screen of the app is the Virus Scanner and will allow you to scan your apps and storage for virus & malware threats. The scan will automatically perform as you download new apps, but you can initiate a manual scan by tapping Scan now. You’ll be alerted to any threat and be given the option to uninstall the app or delete the file.

The Privacy Advisor tab on the left gives you a detailed list of the types of privacy-related permissions granted apps on your phone. This is a fantastic tool, because while it may be perfectly legitimate for a contact manager app to have access to your contacts, you may not want a game app to have access to them. By tapping on any of the categories you can see a list of which apps have access to that information. Then you can decide if you should keep running the app or uninstall it.

The Shield Control tab allows you to change the settings for the various protection systems (called shields in avast!) For example, when you tap on Web Shield, you can turn the shield on or off, disable automatic site correct for common misspellings and check for malicious sites and phishing scams. It is a good idea to look through all of the shields to understand what avast! is doing to protect your device.

By tapping on SMS and Call Filter, then Create a new group, you can create rules which allow you to block incoming or outgoing calls and messages. You can also create rules which specify times the device cannot be used to call or text. This is great for Android phones for younger people, who should not be texting late at night or during school hours.

By tapping on Network Meter you can view the bandwidth usage of applications. This is a very useful feature for people on capped Internet services. You’ll see what applications are using data. If your device is equipped with a built-in cellular modem you can sort the data use between the 3g, WiFi and Roaming data to avoid costly overage charges.

The Settings tab allows you to alter the main settings for avast! These include automatic updates, and your avast! account should you have one. You can also enable a PIN code to access the security settings, so no unauthorized person changes your security settings. You can also add a phone number to recover your pin code should you forget it.

Some of the other features, including the Firewall and Anti-Theft, are only available on rooted devices or with an additional service. Running a security program will take up some processor power and memory. But in the long-run it’s worth it.

~ Cynthia