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Mobile Security Apps – ESET

I started wondering if these anti-virus tools are as bad on Android as they are on Windows

By: Bill Mathews - Anyone who listens to our podcast should know that I hate all anti-virus and anti-virus vendors. I really don’t have too many shades of grey when it comes to it, so it’s pretty hard to make me want to do anything regarding anti-virus technology that isn’t just recommending you get rid of the platform that is so susceptible to it. I’ve argued (and still argue) that even though there is clearly a malware issue with Android phones (unless lots of folks are lying), it is not as bad as the vendors make it out to be.

They have a whole new platform to infect…err, get adopted on so what is not to like about smartphones being cesspools? I got really curious though and started wondering if these anti-virus tools are as bad on Android as they are on Windows. Do they slow down the phone? Do they drain the life out of the battery (if you’ve ever owned a Thunderbolt or Droid Charge you’ll know that’s not difficult)? Are they real time? What else can they do?

I started out with ESET Mobile Security because it was always the one that annoyed me least on Windows. I would like to note that I have NEVER had a virus or malware issue on any Android phone I’ve ever owned (stock, rooted, or custom ROM). It just never happened, which is shocking since I install new apps all the time. Here’s my “review”/opinion of a product I didn’t need:

Installation was no different than your typical Android app, just install it from the Play Store. It will guide you through setup (which is almost nothing). One thing I really like is the ability to password protect individual features – e.g. I can enable it for anti-spam but leave it open for the quarantine. I like flexibility.

It works basically like any other app – you get a menu listing out all of the things the app can do. I picked Antivirus first because, well, that’s the selling point of this application.

I wanted to see how well the device performed (on a Galaxy Nexus) so I chose Scan Device and tried to do some other things. You know what, either ESET does nothing or it is written so well (doubtful since it has to be in Java) that it caused no noticeable slowdown. It wasn’t sluggish at all. I was very surprised!

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Christina O’Neill has been working in the information security field for 3 years. She is a board member for the Northern Ohio InfraGard Members Alliance and a committee member for the Information Security Summit, a conference held once a year for information security and physical security professionals.

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