We keep hearing how our mobile devices are a big target for malware and other threats. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is an app that will make using your device safer. With a recent update to the app, now you can tailor the level of protection and how and when you are notified about the process. The PC version of Malwarebytes has long been a popular go-to solution for malware protection. It was covered here at Gizmo's Freeware.
The app is compatible with all versions of Android from V2.3 and above. Kindle owners will be happy to know that the app is also available on the Amazon app store.
When you first run it, you'll be asked if you want to activate automatic protection. Choose what you want. This can be changed later in the settings. The next obvious thing to do is to run a scan. This process should only take a few minutes to complete. If no problems are found, you'll get a dialog with the scan results - 'Nothing Found'. I can't report what happens if it finds something.
There are two extra buttons on the main screen—App Manager and Privacy Manager. The App Manager shows a list of running apps, installed apps and whitelist. From here you can see what're running and a list of your installed apps. You can force stop or tap to go to App Info where you can uninstall them if you want. This app list is much tidier than doing the same process from Android settings.
The Privacy Manager gives you an interesting list you'll want to have a look at. You'll be asked to do a scan to build a database of your apps. Then, there's a list of various privacy and security categories and the number of apps that can access those. A tap on a category such as 'track location' will give you a list of apps that have that permission. A lot of us just tap OK when the permissions list shows up when installing an app. The Privacy Manager screen is where you can see what apps have access to your personal information.
No doubt you'll find a few surprises like I did. For example, a Volume control app that had access to my GPS location. Why? Unfortunately on stock Android, you can't disallow individual app permissions. Your only recourse is to uninstall the offending app and find something else with permissions that are less intrusive.
The security audit screen shows you the status of such things as installing from unknown sources, developer mode and tracking. These take you to the various system setting pages so you can disable them. The GPS tracking entry takes you to your devices location services settings screen to disable it. A lot of other Android apps won't like the GPS being off, but that's up to you.
The other item on the security audit screen is 'Track my Phone'. That uses a Google feature - device manager, to track your device if lost or stolen.
What sets Malwarebytes apart from other vendor's security apps is found in the app settings. You have full control over app notifications from reporting its every move to no notifications at all. You can set up real time scanning and logging of results or choose to do none of that. Scheduled scanning can be set up at a time that suits you.
You can set the app to auto update its malware definitions. When I selected Update Frequency, I expected to see something like daily, weekly or monthly. But no. It's hourly, every 3 hours or every 6 hours. Surely, can the malware threat be that bad? Needless to say, the app will accommodate all users. The extremely security conscious are catered for. If you want to run the scan once in a while when you get a spare moment, you can do that instead. Just do a manual database update at that time.
With real time scanning and auto updates enabled, don't be surprised if your battery charge life takes a hit. That's a price you'll pay if apps are always active and looking for updates from the Internet every hour.
The protection you get and the flexibility to change the app's behavior to suit your needs is a big plus over the competition. It makes Malwarebytes Anti-Malware an essential tool for the security conscious Android user. It can be used alongside any anti-virus apps you may already have installed to enhance your security.
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware — Free Mobile App of the Week
Size: 6.9 MB
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