Whether you think Android needs an anti-malware program or not, Bitdefender Mobile Security for Android is a useful security app for any Android smartphone or tablet. In addition to cloud-based malware scanning, Bitdefender Mobile Security has remote geolocation and anti-theft features – you can log into a website, view your Android’s location on a map, and control it remotely. Bitdefender also offers phishing protection for Android’s default browser and an Application Audit tool that simplifies app permission management. Bitdefender supports Android 2.2 and later versions of Android.
Bitdefender Mobile offers all its features free for the first two weeks, after which you’ll need the premium version ($9.95 a year) to take advantage of the Web Security and Anti-Theft features. The Malware Scanner, Application Audit, and Remote Geolocation features are free to everyone.
Want a premium copy? We’re giving away 25 premium copies of Bitdefender Mobile Security for Android worth a total of $250 this week. Read on for your chance to win!
When you install Bitdefender Mobile Security for Android, you’ll be prompted to create a My Bitdefender account – or log in with one if you already have one. You can use this account to remotely locate your device and use the anti-theft features from a web browse. After you create your accoutn, you’ll see a control panel with the four major features included with Bitdefender Mobile – Malware Scanner, Application Audit, Web Security, and Anti-Theft. There’s also an Event Viewer, which displays a log of Bitdefender’s activity.
Tap the Malware Scanner icon to perform a scan. Bitdefender’s architecture saves battery power by not performing CPU-intensive scanning on your smartphone or tablet. Instead, Bitdefender scans your device’s apps and generates fingerprints. After generating the fingerprints, Bitdefender Mobile uploads them to Bitdefender’s servers, where they’re compared to known malware. This cloud-based architecture also ensures that you’re always using the latest malware definitions – you don’t have to perform regular definition updates.
Bitdefender Mobile Security for Android also scans apps when you install them to prevent potentially malicious applications from installing. When your removable storage becomes mounted, Bitdefender Mobile Security for Android scans it too – this ensures malicious APK files can’t be copied from a computer to your device’s storage.
The Application Audit screen helps you see which apps on your device have potentially harmful permissions. You can see which applications have access to the Internet, access to private data (such as your contacts), or access to things that could potentially cost you money (such as sending SMS messages). You can tap an app from here to view more details about its permissions and quickly uninstall it. This screen can help alert you to potentially unwanted apps – for example, if you see a game in the Costs section, that may be a warning sign.
Web security is basically a phishing and malware filter for your browser – although it only works with Android’s default browser app, named Internet. Desktop browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Internet Explorer all have built-in phishing and malware filters, but Android’s default browser doesn’t. When Web Security is enabled, each web address you load in the default browser is sent to Bitdefender’s servers. The servers respond and tell your device whether there’s a problem with the website or not – if you’re trying to access a phishing website or one that contains malware, you’ll see a warning page instead. If you don’t want to use this feature, you can disable it.
Remote Geolocation & Anti-Theft
Bitdefender Mobile Security’s Anti-Theft feature can function like a “Find My iPhone” service for Android phones. Remote geolocation is on by default, allowing you to open your browser, log in to the My Bitdefender site with the password you created when you set up the app, and view the location of your phone on a map. (The phone must be connected to the Internet for these features to work.) You can also enable the remote lock and remote wipe features if you want the ability to remotely lock or wipe your device if you lose access to it.
The Locate button on the My Bitdefender website uses your device’s GPS to provide an accurate location. In my test, Bitdefender showed my device’s current street-level location and provided an accurate range of street addresses that the device was located at. I chose not to show my precise location on the screenshot below, but Bitdefender knew it.
From the website, you can also send messages to the device and play an alarm sound on it – the anti-theft feature can help you find your phone if you’ve lost it in a city or even if you’ve misplaced it in your house.
Download your own copy to take it for a spin – Bitdefender Mobile Security offers all the features free for the first two weeks. If you like it, good news — we’re giving away 25 premium copies of Bitdefender Mobile Security worth a total of $250 this week!
How do I win a copy?
It’s simple, just follow the instructions. Please note that we’ve included a new entry method which utilises your MakeUseOf points.
If you don’t have a Facebook, Twitter or Google+ account, you may exchange your MakeUseOf points for an entry into the competition. It’s really simple: create a MakeUseOf account, earn points and exchange your points for an entry! Learn more about our Game system and Rewards program.
To exchange your points for quick entry, you must be logged in
This giveaway begins now and ends Friday, July 20th. The winners will be selected at random and informed via email.