It is a well-known fact that among all popular mobile platforms, Android is unarguably the one that is heavily plagued with all sorts of malware and other potentially harmful entities. Despite the committed efforts of concerned authorities to make one of the world’s most widely-used mobile OS free of all the various vulnerabilities, new threats keep rearing heads on a consistent basis. Perhaps that’s the reason why Sophos, the trusted security hardware and software provider, has decided to stepped into the foray to provide Android users with a reliable and feature-packed mobile protection tool by the name of Sophos Mobile Security. Currently in Beta, the app vows to offer uncompromised security for your Android device through three nifty and most sought-after device protection and anti-theft tools, namely Scanner, Loss & Theft, and Privacy Advisor. Each individual tool features several handy options that we shall look at in detail.
Starting with the app’s Scanner tool, Sophos lets you perform an on-demand full system scan on your Android device’s system and third-party apps, as well as SD card contents to identify and tackle any hidden threats. In addition, it also supports scanning all the newly installed apps in real-time to prevent any unforeseen hazards from accessing your device’s system directories. Another highlighting aspect of Sophos Mobile Security is its Cloud scan mode. Basically, the app utilizes the local as well as online Sophos malware database to perform real-time and on-demand system scans using the latest malware definitions available.
The Cloud scan mode can be set to access the relevant database from the online Sophos servers as per user preference. For instance, you can allow the app to always access the online database, regardless of the type of internet connection that you’re using. Then there is the option to enable the app to access the online database only when you’re not roaming, or whilst using the Wi-Fi internet connection only. In case , the internet is not accessible at all, the app will resort to the local database to perform scans using the last updated malware definitions.
While the app is capable of running on-demand scans in the background, it can also keep you apprised of the scan progress and results in real-time. On the scanner screen, you can check the total number of scanned apps and files. Moreover, you can also keep an eye on the total number of threats detected during the scan. The bottom section of this screen lists all the detected threats (if any). The scan process can be aborted anytime you like. After each completed scan, you can go through the relevant Details of all the clean as well as potentially harmful apps. Alongside each individual app, you can see its threat status, and the various device permissions that it requires in order to run effectively.
The app’s second tool, the Loss & Theft tool, is quite helpful in its own respect. First things first, to access various anti-theft features present under this particular tool, you’ll need to grant the device administrative privileges to Sophos Mobile Security. Should you opt to uninstall the app, you’ll first need to deactivate these device administrative privileges from within the app, and then proceed with the normal uninstallation chores from your device’s main app settings screen.
Once the app has been granted administrative rights, you can specify as many as five different alternative phone numbers that can be used to remotely locate and/or lock your lost or stolen Android device. In case your device gets stolen or lost, you can send a text message, carrying a user-specified password, from any one of the five user-defined alternative numbers to your lost device in the following format:
- To remotely locate:
- To remotely lock:
Needless to say, in order to remotely trace your device’s geographical coordinates and transmit them back to you via text messages, GPS must be enabled on your device, and the app authorized to access the location settings.
Finally, we come to the app’s Privacy Advisor tool, which you can use to, say, filter out all such apps that can cost you additional bucks while running in the background. Moreover, you can filter out all those apps which have the propensity to harm your privacy, or can access the internet. The best part of the entire package is that you can use a combo of any two (or all three) filters to look out for apps that can pose the greatest threat to your privacy as well as your wallet.
That’s not all; to help you easily come to terms with various features offered through each individual tool, the app provides you with adequate helpful material. Furthermore, it keeps a detailed log of all the latest activities that you’ve undertaken using the app’s various tools.
Since Sophos Mobile Security is in Beta, it can be downloaded from the Google Play Store for free.