BitDefender Mobile Security Android App ReviewWritten by John Thompson on July 7, 2011 · Filed under Review, Software
You know for certain that a platform has made it when there’s security software available on its Market. Mobile malware is big bucks these days, with the potential to steal private messages and access voicemail – just ask Mr Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks, they’ll tell you I’m right – and so security software is bound to become more and more popular on our phones.
It’s no surprise, then, that BitDefender has decided to race ahead of the competition and release a beta version of their mobile security application, which allows you to scan your phone for malware and actively protect it against web threats.
Currently free in beta, BitDefender sports a nice, clean interface which provides easy access to key functions. From the main menu, you can choose to run a malware scan, take a security audit of your phone and activate or de-activate web security.
Selecting the malware scanner launches the app into a scan without any need to configure options or do anything except watch the progress of the scan on the screen. It took less than 30 seconds to complete the scan on my phone, although I only have 31 applications installed so it may take a little longer if you have an SD card full of games and other apps. Despite the relatively small size of mobile applications compared to PC applications, I was impressed at how little time it took to zoom through all of the apps which I have installed on my phone. It certainly won’t take as long to run a scan on your mobile device as it does on your main computer, that’s for sure.
Selecting the security audit option will generate a list of applications that require special permissions to run. These permissions are broken down into three categories: ‘costs money’, ‘privacy issues’ and ‘internet access’. You can view the whole list, with each of these categories represented by a small label next to the name of the application, or you can choose to filter the list down to applications which only match the permissions which you have selected. This is a fairly useful feature for seeing which permissions are required by certain applications, but it won’t be a feature worth paying for if the app does cost once it’s out of beta, considering you are already shown a more precise list of permissions required by an app before you can even install it from the Market.
The web security screen doesn’t provide you with any options; you can simply choose to turn it on or off. When activated, web security will monitor the sites that you are visiting, similar to how an Internet Security Suite would protect your PC. If you access a website that the application considers untrustworthy or is known of spreading malware, then you will be alerted to this by your phone. There aren’t any ugly add-ons in your browser that would take up valuable screen estate, and everything is running in the background away from sight. This could be a feature well worth having if websites can begin to expose flaws in Android security, so keep a close eye on this one.
Overall, BitDefender’s mobile security application is well worth a look, especially whilst it’s in free beta. I haven’t noticed any slugginess or bugs in the app whilst using it so far, so check it out, and let us know what you think in the comments!