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Mobile Security Review 2022

AV-Comparatives’ latest Mobile Security Report 2022 is now available. 11 security products for Android have been thoroughly tested and reviewed. 

Independent security testing lab AV-Comparatives has published the report of its 2022 investigation into antivirus apps for the Android mobile platform. The Innsbruck-based institute tested 11 popular security apps with regard to malware protection, battery drain and anti-theft functionality. Third-party products made by Avast, AVG, Avira, Bitdefender, ESET, G DATA, Kaspersky, Malwarebytes, Securion and Trend Micro were all scrutinised, along with Google’s built-in security measures in the Android platform.  

The most recent version of Google’s mobile OS, Android 12, was used for the test. Users can see how well the tested products performed on the most recent incarnation of Android.  

In the malware protection test, over 3,127 recent malicious applications for the Android operating system were used. The results clearly showed the advantage of using a third-party antivirus product to protect smartphones against Android malware.  

To ensure that the tested products do not achieve protection at the expense of high rates of false alarms, a false-positives test was also run, using 500 legitimate apps.  

Anti-theft functionality was also considered. This allows a user whose smartphone has been lost or stolen to e.g. locate it, lock it, and wipe private data. Anti-theft features in the tested products were tested for reliable operation.  

A past criticism of mobile security programs is that they cause significant drain on the device’s battery. AV-Comparatives addressed this issue by running a battery-drain test. The effect each product has on battery life during everyday phone usage (making calls, surfing the Internet, watching videos and sending emails) was measured.  

As well as the results of the tests, the report includes general security advice and information for users of Android devices. The security measures incorporated into Android 12 are considered, along with the effect these have on third-party security apps. Security tips for Android users are also provided. 

Like all AV-Comparatives’ public reports, the report of the 2022 Android Mobile Security Test can be downloaded free of charge from the institute’s website, AV-Comparatives is an independent testing lab based in Innsbruck, Austria, and has been publicly testing computer security software since 2004. It is ISO 9001:2015 certified for the scope “Independent Tests of Anti-Virus Software”. It also holds the EICAR certification as a “Trusted IT-Security Testing Lab”.