The world is a dangerous place, but it’s a picnic compared to the internet. In this vast, ungovernable electro-wilderness you’ll find scammers, hackers, keyloggers, phishers, fakers, viruses, trojans, malware, adware, ransomware, and worse. 

The good news is that a decent browser, secure websites, and a reputable operating system will shelter you from the majority of these threats, as long as you keep them updated and don’t do anything silly.

But for certain threats you’ll need to beef up your security, which is where antivirus software comes in handy. You wouldn’t go online on your PC without some sort of antivirus running.

An antivirus is not enough though of course. We recommend you secure your internet connection with a VPN, and for recommendations check out the best VPNS for Android on Proprivacy.

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Avast

The word “avast” more or less means “stop”. And that’s what Avast Mobile Security does to viruses. 

The free version (which, let’s face it, is all you’re ever going to instal) is surprisingly generous in terms of features. On top of its world class virus scanning software it comes with a call blocker, a firewall, and even a nifty anti-theft feature that lets you remotely wipe your phone to prevent thieves from enjoying your personal data on the beach.

It’s supported by ads, but you can pay to switch them off.

Norton

Norton is the surname of Ed Norton, who once played the Incredible Hulk. This is apt, because Norton’s virus-killing namesake is to online threats what the Hulk is to all of his enemies: a brutal killer.

Legend has it that Norton can detect 100% of malware, while its scanner is able to detect viruses within files and folders and safely remove them. It also lets you lock your phone remotely, just in case you fall victim to an offline crime instead of an online one. 

Avira

Avira sounds like “Elvira”, a TV vampire from the 1980s. And that’s appropriate, because Avira does to viruses what a vampire does to mortal humans: it ends their pathetic lives. 

A long time favorite of virus-haters the world over, Avira packs an integrated “identity safeguard”, which checks your email address against a database of email addresses involved in data breaches. It scans external storage, too, meaning your SD card is safe.