Shocker: Most Android Security Apps Are Fake

With all the hackers trying to infiltrate phones these days, a good security app is pretty much a must-have. But a security test by AV-Comparatives yielded some truly frightening results.

They downloaded 250 apps from the Google Play store and found that 40% of the apps were what they labeled “dubious.” Meaning that they apparently didn’t actually do any scanning for malware even when the app indicated a scan was in progress. Many gave false positives for legitimate apps.

Of the tested apps, only 80 were able to detect malware at least 30% of the time and have and had zero false alarms.


Some of the apps were determined to be trojans. Trojans are fake apps that contain malware and can actually harm your device. Many of these apps have already been removed from the Google Play Store.

Among the removed apps:, AppLocker Cleaner Booster, AppsNewLook, AVC Security, Bastiv, Big Fun Free Apps, Birina Industries, Cooler Technologies, Document Viewer 2019, Erus IT, GearMedia, Himlamo, koala security studio, LA Antivirus Lab, Mobile Antivirus Lab, Mobile Tools, NCK Corp, Ocean Developers, PICOO Design, Protection & Security for Mobile Lab, Rivalab, Secure Performance Dev, Smart bapp, Taobao, Top Maxi Group, TrustPort, Vasa Pvt, Vasonomics, Vitekco, wallpaperdus, Weather Radar Forecast, and zeeworkers.

So which apps work?

Apps with a 100% protection rate include:

AhnLab, Antiy, Avast, AVG, AVIRA, Bitdefender, BullGuard, Chili Security, Emisoft, ESET, ESTSOFT, F-Secure, G Data, Kaspersky Lab, McAfee, PSafe, Sophos, STOPzilla, Symantec, Tecent, Total Defense, Trend Micro, and Trustwave.


Coming in just behind with ratings of 99%

eScan Ikarus, QUick Heal, REVE, Secuiron, VIPRE, Lookout, Supermosbilesafe, BSafe, MyMobile, and Malwarebytes.


Other popular software came in with ratings in the high 90% Webroot was 97% effective. Panda only scored 91%

You’ve probably noticed that most well-known names in security like Malwarebytes, AVG, McCafee, Bitdefender, and Kaspersky did pretty well. Sticking with well-known brands is probably a good idea. Many of the top-rated apps are not free, but good protection may be something that’s worth paying for. Some security software services include both mobile and PC protection in your subscription fee, so if you’re already paying for PC protection, check to see if phone and tablet protection is included as well or if you can upgrade to a plan that offers it.

To learn more about how they tested the apps and see a full list of apps and their test scores, click here:


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