AVG scored 100%, but dozens of other Android security apps were qualified deceptive and dubious.

There is no question that when it comes to mobile security apps, there are literally hundreds from which you can choose. Independent testing lab AV-Comparatives regularly evaluates mainstream security software available to the public to provide accurate reports about what the products actually do versus what they claim to do. They publish these findings throughout the year to keep consumers informed, and their most recent report is a study on mobile security apps for Android.

The lab states that the purpose of the 2018 Android Test was “to help owners of Android devices to distinguish between genuine and effective Android antivirus apps on the one hand, and dubious/ineffective ones on the other.” Alarmingly, the study revealed that only a small minority of the apps qualified for the former category (AVG Antivirus Free among them), while well over half landed in the latter.

To make certain they tested only publicly-accessible security apps, the lab drew every one of them — 204 in all — from the Google Play Store. They then checked each app against the 2,000 most common malware threats of 2017. To screen for false positives as well, they also included 50 clean, popular apps.

Alarming results

The good news is that AVG Antivirus Free detected 100% of the malware samples, and had no false positives.

The bad news is that 79 of the apps tested detected less than 30% of the malware samples, and had high rates of false positives. The report states:

“Some of the Android security products in our test blocked so few of the malware samples – in some cases literally none – that they cannot be recommended as anti-malware apps. Additionally, this year we saw a large increase in apps that use questionable detection mechanisms. Combining ineffective and risky anti-malware apps, we consider the majority of the test apps to be unsafe to use.”

Indeed, between the conducting of the tests in January and the publishing of the findings in March, a total of 41 of the apps studied were removed from the Google Play Store due to their dubious natures. AV-Comparatives posits that many of these were most likely made by developers who have no real stake in security, but simply wanted the professional stature of having a security product in their portfolio.

For more info on the study, read the AV-Comparatives report and learn which apps to avoid. More importantly, consumers can protect themselves and their Android with software that is effective, robust, and truly security-first, like AVG Antivirus Free.