Sophos to offer free Android anti-malware app

Security protection company will offer malware solution for Android devices, will scan existing apps

Security software firm Sophos, Ltd. has announced that it's providing its basic Android security app as part of its Complete Mobile Security Initiative. The new Mobile Security Free Edition is available through Google Play, or you can use the QR code on the Sophos site.

The Sophos Mobile Security app will scan the existing apps on your phone for malware, and it scans any apps you may download, either from Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) Play or elsewhere. The Sophos app will also graylist apps that have the potential for being a threat. In addition, the app will let you perform a remote lock on your device if it's lost, and it includes a Privacy Advisor to let you know which apps have access to personal data, as well as apps that can use your data connection and raise costs.

Sophos says the app will work on any Android device with software version 2.2 or later. The free edition is part of a larger suite of apps from Sophos that includes mobile control and encryption, as well as a complete security suite. The Sophos Complete Security Suite works with iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows devices.

The Sophos Mobile Security Initiative is important to Android users if only because there's so much confirmed malware already circulating in the Android world. Some reports put the number of malware-infected apps at as high as a third of all available Android software. But regardless of the numbers, infected apps can come from a number of sources. In addition, web and email infections can spread to Android apps, which means that you can infect a device even when you're very careful about safe downloading.

The Sophos initiative isn't the only way to protect your Android device for free. Lookout Norton, Avast, NQ Mobile Security, AVG Mobilation, McAfee and all offer free anti-virus, anti-malware and free security apps on Google Play.

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