The public has spoken! One hundred thousand votes were cast and avast! Mobile Security & Antivirus was declared the Winner and Users’ Choice pick for the best Utilities and Tools for Android devices.
The international panel of independent judges wrote about avast! Mobile Security, “One of the best security apps for tablets. Setup is quick and easy. UI is refreshing and simple yet functional. Capabilities and ease of use are outstanding. Very solid. This application is the complete mobile security package.”
The crowning achievement for the developers of avast! Mobile Security is the Users’ Choice award, given by real app users. In June and July, app users voted on the TabbyAwards.com site for their favorite app among panel-selected finalists in each category. The full list of Winners, Users’ Choice and Finalists, with links to download them, is available at TabbyAwards.com.
You ain’t seen nothing yet
The judges and users thought that the current version of avast! Mobile Security has a “refreshing” and “simple yet functional” user interface. Well, it’s about to get even better!
Android Power Users: Join us as a beta tester and provide feedback on the new, improved avast! Mobile Security user interface. Visit the avast! Google+ page to join the beta community and learn how you can earn a free 1-year license for avast! Mobile Premium.
Thank you for using avast! Antivirus and recommending us to your friends and family. For all the latest news, fun and contest information, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ andInstagram. Business owners – check out our business products.
avast! Anti-Theft is a separate program included in the avast! Free Mobile Security app. You can install it at the same time as avast! Mobile Security, or later, during a separate installation. Its unique capabilities help you recover your phone by controlling it remotely with SMS commands or via the Internet by logging in to your AVAST account. The app can also notify you that your SIM card was removed, in case the device was stolen. All that will help you to control and locate your lost or stolen smartphone. Since its release, we have received many messages from all around the world, proving that avast! Anti-Theft has helped many users find their missing devices. A dramatic story with happy end came to us from the Humayuns brothers. They were attacked at a Pakistani market. Their smartphone was stolen during the attack. Luckily they were able to catch the thief using avast! Anti-Theft. Stories from the open road have also come our way from motorbike AVAST fan DuckyBoy and truck driver Steven B., who used AVAST to track their missing smartphones lost on the roads of USA. We even received a detective-like story from sisters Katharina and Nicole. Nicole’s phone was stolen during the trip to Vietnam, AVAST notified her sister Katharina that her SIM card had been changed and provided her with the phone’s new number. Using this information the girls successfully tracked down the stolen device (with a little help from Vietnamese authorities). Last but not least avast! Anti-theft managed to locate a phone that was lost for a year and a half, it traveled a great distance within Africa before it was found!
However, we have also spotted questions from users who were surprised by the “extra charges for the SMS notifications”. Some thought the charges came from AVAST. Let’s clarify this functionality and explain, why mobile operators can charge you for SMS notifications sent from the avast! Anti-theft app.
Why is it happening and how to prevent unexpected costs?
Last week, Google upgraded the Android app section of its store and introduced a new way for users to manage permissions. Google claims it will be easier for users to understand and that users will pay more attention to app permissions. The new interface has a cleaner look and the common user can now install apps more quickly. But does this simplicity come with a price?
Android controls the security and the amount of access every app is granted by using “permissions”. Each action has to ask the operating system for permission to take a new action. In older versions, when an app update asked for new actions or requested additional permissions, Google Play would notify the user prompting them to explicitly accept or deny the new action. Even if the user had automatic updates set, in the cases of new permissions being asked, the user would need to manually perform the update. Even if the user wasn’t exactly sure what they were giving permission for, at least the user was aware and could make the decision themselves. Security was preserved.
Everything is different now
Everything changed last week.
Individual permissions, which could range from important to trivial, are now joined into 13 groups, including a catch-all called “Other”. Now the user has to accept a “new group” change. This means that if you have already allowed certain permissions within a group, then any other permission within that group will automatically be allowed. For example, an app that could access your calendar can now also read your contacts. If you set a meeting and have invited people by email, the app will be able to use the calendar to send emails to them, even without your consent! Read more…
The U.S. is on the soccer field: Our own triple-threat celebrity, Jennifer Lopez, performed at the opening ceremony; Facebook set up a special “Trending World Cup” news feed; Twitter predicts the most tweeted global event ever; Google search features a daily soccer doodle; and the U.S. is playing its first game in the tournament today.
The 2014 World Cup is more digital than any other soccer World Cup. At AVAST, we wanted to understand how people will watch and participate in the tournament this year. In a survey of more than 3,000 AVAST users in the U.S., we discovered mobile devices will play a big part: Two out of three American soccer fans will use their smartphone or tablet to enhance their World Cup experience.
Soccer news, live scores and vuvuzela sounds on smartphone
Highest priority for Americans is to stay on top of the game results with more than half the fans reporting they will check the live scores from their smartphone. One-third said they will read news about the games on their smartphone or tablet and one-fifth will live stream the games on their mobile device. Many will certainly be interested in the results as they placed a bet. The best strategies to bet on the winning team have been discussed and people are already well into betting fever. One out of ten survey respondents will use or have already used their smartphone or tablet to place bets.
There is even more that can be done on mobile. For six percent of respondents, collecting and trading stickers of the players has moved from the paper booklet to digital albums in the cloud. And what would a World Cup be without the famous BZZZZ vuvuzela sound? Cover your ears – this year you can expect to hear a cacophony of digital horns: One in 20 intend to use a mobile app to sound the vuvuzela.
Instead of just following the games, every eighth American fan wants to become a world champion themselves – and will play soccer games on their mobile device.
For all mobile activities, nearly half of Americans stick to the official FIFA apps, the majority mixes official with unofficial apps or only go for unofficial apps. It’s great for fans to have a wider variety of apps to choose from, but beware, we found some gaming apps that are fake, they won’t let you play and instead just want to collect your data and show you ads.
One out of five will live stream the games on smartphone or tablet
The majority of Americans will still watch the games the traditional way – eight out of ten – on the TV at home. However, digital sources are slowly taking over: 40 percent will watch the tournament on PC and on the smartphone and tablet 21 percent will watch.
Now who do Americans think will win?
Americans’ faith in their own team is low! Only eight percent think the U.S. team will win. Instead, all bets are on the World Cup host: One-third of Americans pick Brazil to take home the cup.
World Cup safety tips
At AVAST, we think we can all be winners if this will be a safe World Cup. Using your smartphone and tablet during and after the soccer World Cup, make sure you are protected:
- Only download apps from the official Google Play store
- Choose apps from official sources and read what others are saying about them
- Take a close look at the permissions an app requests and question if they are necessary for the apps’ functionality
- Use antivirus on your PC, smartphone, and tablet
- If live streaming the games on public Wi-Fi, make sure you are protected with a VPN solution encrypting your communications such as avast! SecureLine
A new Android mobile Trojan called SimpLocker has emerged from a rather shady Russian forum, encrypting files for ransom. AVAST detects the Trojan as Android:Simplocker, avast! Mobile Security and avast! Mobile Premium users can breathe a sigh of relief; we protect from it!
The Trojan was discovered on an underground Russian forum by security researchers at ESET. The Trojan is disguised as an app suitable for adults only. Once downloaded, the Trojan scans the device’s SD card for images, documents and videos, encrypting them using Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). The Trojan then displays a message in Russian, warning the victim that their phone has been locked, and accusing the victim of having viewed and downloaded child pornography. The Trojan demands a $21 ransom be paid in Ukrainian currency within 24 hours, claiming it will delete all the files it has encrypted if it does not receive the ransom. Nikolaos Chrysaidos, Android Malware Analyst at AVAST, found that the malware will not delete any of the encrypted files, because it doesn’t have the functionality to do so. Targets cannot escape the message unless they deposit the ransom at a payment kiosk using MoneXy. If the ransom is paid the malware waits for a command from its command and control server (C&C) to decrypt the files.
What can we learn from this?
Although this Trojan only targets a specific region and is not available on the Google Play Store, it should not be taken lightly. This is just the beginning of mobile malware, and is thought to be a proof-of-concept. Mobile ransomware especially is predicted to become more and more popular. Once malware writers have more practice, see that they can get easy money from methods like this, they will become very greedy and sneaky.
We can only speculate about methods they will come up with to eventually get their malicious apps onto official markets, such as Google Play, or even take more advantage of alternative outlets such as mobile browsers and email attachments. It is therefore imperative that people download antivirus protection for their smartphones and tablets. Mobile devices contain massive amounts of valuable data and are therefore a major target.
Ransomware can be an effective method for criminals to exploit vulnerable mobile users, many of which don’t back up their data. Just as in ransomware targeting PCs, this makes the threat of losing sentimental data, such as photos of family and friends or official documents, immense.
Don’t give cybercriminals a chance. Protect yourself by downloading avast! Mobile Security for FREE.
Have you ever been on a long road trip with your children? Then you will agree: It’s great to have something to entertain your children, to distract them from the boring drive. Today smartphones and tablets are a great source to keeping kids occupied for long periods of time, not only on the road. AVAST has found out that four out of five parents share their mobile devices with their kids. This is the result of a survey AVAST conducted amongst 1,500 parents in celebration of today’s International Children’s Day. Children are very tech-savvy and technology can be a great teaching tool, if kids use it appropriately. However, our survey results show that kids don’t always choose the most kid friendly apps and activities while using their parents’ devices.
11 to 15 year olds seem to be the most curious – and most at risk
Many kids do mischievous things once they get their hands on their parents’ devices, however our survey has shown that 11 to 15 year olds are most likely to use smartphones and tablets for risky activities. It’s not surprising that anything inappropriate is interesting to kids; 32% of parents admitted that their child has accessed adult content using their mobile device. More than half of these kids were between the ages of 11 and 15 years old. The risk here is not only the child getting in contact with adult content, but the whole device and other family members are at risk as well: Mobile sites and ads including adult content often lead to phishing sites or sites including malware that is downloaded with the tap of a finger.
Sending messages in their parents’ name, behind their parents’ backs also seems to be a fun thing for kids to do, with 19% of parents claiming their child has hit the send button. Again, the sneakiest age group is 11 to 15 years old, 45% of messages were sent by them. If children send text or social media messages in their parents’ name, this can lead to embarrassing situations – or cause real damage, e.g. if a child sends an email from their parents’ business email address.
In addition to this, 7% of kids accessed apps that contained banking or credit card information and 6% used their parents’ device to make purchases without their parents’ knowledge. Once again the age group 11 to 15 years was the one caught red-handed the most – 44% of the 7% of kids that accessed apps containing banking and credit card information and 52% of the 6% of kids that made purchases were 11 to 15 years old.
Many children and teenagers have their own devices
AVAST asked the 20% of parents who don’t share their devices with their kids, why they choose not to do so. Of these, 38% said their kids have their own devices, 40% think their kids are too young (between the ages of 0 to 10 years old), and 22% don’t trust their kids. Out of the 22% that said they don’t trust their kids with their devices, 11 to 15 years old was the most mistrusted age group. Despite this, of the 38% parents that said their kids have their own devices, 48% are between the ages of 11 and 15. Based on what parents caught their 11 to 15 years doing with their mobile devices, can you imagine what these kids may be doing if they have their own device?
Safety tips for kids using mobile devices
Be aware of the sites your children are visiting. The Internet contains everything from cute cats to adult films – do you know which your kids are accessing? Talk to your kids, let them know that not everything online is necessarily safe and keep an eye on what they’re doing online. Also, often apps and ads with adult content can link to malicious sites– so make sure your device is safe. Install an antivirus app like avast! Mobile Security on your phone to protect you and your family.
Lock apps that can make purchases. Any apps containing banking information or that have credit card information saved to make purchases should be password protected, whether your child has their own mobile device or borrows yours. App stores such as Google Play and iTunes make it easy to purchase apps, all you have to do is type in your account password. Even if you don’t think your child knows the password, make sure you add a second layer of protection by password-locking certain apps.
Talk to them about messaging apps. In one of our recent blog posts we discussed the importance of talking to your kids about cybersecurity, especially when it comes to messaging apps and social media. Whether they are borrowing your phone or using their own device, talk to your kids about what information they should share, who they should talk to online and how they should be talking to others.
Talk to them about the value of money. Kids may not realize that the things they order or download online cost actual money. The fact that they can’t visualize online transactions makes it seem like the things they are ordering online must be free! Come up with an agreement, either allow your kids to make purchases online if they consult with you first, or if in the instances of apps, they are free. You could even give your kids app store gift cards as their allowance.
Two brave brothers fight off mobile phone thieves in Pakistan market.
We have heard stories about how avast! Mobile Security’s anti-theft feature has helped people recover their lost or stolen phones, but nothing as dramatic as Shahrukh Humayun’s tale of bravery.
Twenty year old Shahrukh and his 17-year old brother, Shoaib, live in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, the “twin city” to the capital, Islamabad. “Pindi” is a thriving urban area with good hotels, restaurants, museums, parks, and numerous markets and bazaars. It’s in one of those busy marketplaces that their story begins.
Shahrukh and Shoaib went to the market one day and were held up at gunpoint by thieves that demanded Shahruck’s HTC EVO smartphone. Acting bravely to defend the expensive and precious device, Shoaib fought back against the bandits. They shot the teenager in the leg, stole the phone and fled the scene.
In his own words, Shahrukh described what happened:
Respected Avast! Team
I love the avast! android application as it helped me in catching the thieves who stole my mobile when I was in the market.
The story of the incident is that I visited market with my brother and I had a HTC EVO 3D X515m at that time. The thieves called me on the gun point while the area was empty. They asked me for the mobile and when my brother tried to take action they shot him on the leg.
Well, eventually I received an sms from avast that the sim have been changed. I checked my mobile as the GPS was active. I told the police about the incident on the same day and they found the thieves after 8 hours through the Google GPS connected with avast map.
Thank you avast!. Love you
All of us at AVAST were touched by the courage of these two young men when faced with danger. We are happy that our anti-theft product proved to be so useful in finding and recovering the phone. More than that, we were concerned about Shoaib. How has he fared since the incident?
Shahrukh gave us an update:
My brother is braver than me. As a result of that bravery he showed his best loyalty to me by fighting with those bandits and got shot on his leg. This event have passed 8 months and he got no sign of bruises on his leg. But thank God he is fine.
Thank you avast for helping me fight these bandits against their unlawful behavior for the country.
Thank you for using avast! Antivirus and recommending us to your friends and family. For all the latest news, fun and contest information, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Business owners – check out our business products.
The mobile landscape in the Middle East and North African (MENA) regions are changing at a phenomenal speed. Nearly 526 million people in the region will have a mobile handset this year with only the Asia-Pacific region having more mobile users – both significantly more than in North America or Western Europe.
Smartphones are the most desired devices among students and young professionals (18 to 34 years old), with the Android platform being the most popular, which means that security protection is essential.
“Especially if you are running an Android device, you absolutely need to install a security product,” said Ondrej Vlček, Chief Technology Officer at AVAST Software. “Our developers continuously keep an eye out for emerging security issues in order to invent new solutions to provide our customers with bullet-proof protection. With avast! Mobile Security we catch smartphone thieves in the act and we safeguard customer’s valuable personal information,” said Vlček.
AVAST detected an average of 1,839 new mobile malware samples a day, about 60 to 70% of which were designed to send and charge mobile users for premium SMS.
What security risks do users in MENA face?
Consumers in the MENA regions are similar to other consumers in their interests. Seventy-nine percent say that they will shop using their smartphones. Games and weather apps are the most popular, followed by social networking apps. Overall, 83% of the 100 most popular apps are associated with security risks and privacy issues, therefore it is expected that there will be a growing need throughout MENA for security applications such as avast! Mobile Security.
avast! Mobile Security is the top-rated mobile security app by users in the Google Play store, by leading technology publications and by independent testing organizations. In addition to AV-Test’s certification, PC Magazine and Laptop have rewarded avast! Mobile Security with Editor’s Choice awards.
Looking for AVAST software solutions in Egypt? Softex Software House has been an AVAST partner in Egypt for more than four years, and is ready to serve you. Read their latest press release about avast! Mobile Security.
Thank you for using avast! Antivirus and recommending us to your friends and family. For all the latest news, fun and contest information, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Business owners – check out our business products.
You have downloaded the new avast! Mobile Security version 3. You now have a powerful tool to protect your mobile phone from malware, as well as anti-theft features in case your phone is lost or stolen. But you may be wondering, “How do I use this mobile security software to its full power for maximum benefit? What can I expect from the new version?”
These questions are very good ones. We love AVAST for its set-and-forget nature, and also because it’s very light on resources. But we really want you to know the power of AVAST! The hidden features that allow you to get its full power. To do this, let’s look at its six major features:
On demand scanning is a preventive feature. To get rid of bad or infected files that can rest in your Android and SD Card (storage), scan your phone with the latest virus definitions. You can set avast! Mobile Security to run at night, when you’re sleeping and charging your phone.
You love to install apps in your phone, don’t you? After some time, your home manager will show a lot of icons. Why would I need an app manager if the phone already has one, you might be thinking? Because with avast! App manager you can see your running apps, check their permissions, if they display ads, and if you have a rooted device, you can even block the app access to some of your networks, saving you money with your data plan.
avast! Mobile Security has a powerful ad detector. You can see up to 7 categories of possible ads, from geotracking to showing ads in your phone to collecting personal information and data. When you install an app, AVAST will automatically warn you about bad behaviors and you could act immediately to get rid of annoying ads. Relax! You can configure AVAST to warn based on your own criteria. For rooted phones and tablets, you can block a specific network access (WiFi/Data/Roaming) for the app being installed. Read more…
To celebrate the new version of our top-rated avast! Mobile Security along with the new avast! Mobile Premium, AVAST and Android Police are giving away 9 new Nexus devices. You have one week to enter the contest to win one of these great Android phones or tablets:
- 2x Nexus 4 8GB
- 2x Nexus 4 16GB + bumpers + charging orb (2 bundles)
- 1x 2012 Nexus 7 16GB
- 2x Nexus 10 16GB
- 2x Nexus 10 32GB
Getting your name in the hat is easy – just go to the AVAST/Android Police contest page and answer a simple question:
What do you value most about your phone?
This can be a tricky question, so here are some examples of good answers:
- The device itself
- Text Messages
The International Mega Giveaway will run for one week and end at midnight (PST) on August 31st. Visit Android Police now to enter!
How to download avast! Mobile Premium
avast! Mobile Security and avast! Mobile Backup are FREE downloads in the Google Play store and can be used stand-alone as free versions or be upgraded to avast! Mobile Premium for access to all premium features. avast! Mobile Premium is available for $1.99 per month or $14.99 per year. Download and install on your Android device now.
Thank you for using avast! Antivirus and recommending us to your friends and family. For all the latest news, fun, and contest information, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram.