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Android AV Improves But Still Can't Nuke Malware

Google doesn't let Android antivirus app makers automatically quarantine and zap malware. Until then it's up to users to stay on their toes to prevent infectio

Good news: Antivirus and anti-malware scanners designed for the Android operating system continue to improve.

So says a new report, released this week by independent German testing lab AV-Test. The November and December study of 28 different Android antivirus tools found that the apps' ability to protect devices -- by detecting a representative set of more than 2,000 malicious apps discovered in the four weeks prior to the test -- reached an average success rate of 96.6%, up from 90.5% in September.

The tests evaluated the antivirus apps not only on the aforementioned "protection" front, but also looked at usability: the app's hit on battery life and processing speed, how much data it loaded in the background, and also whether it triggered false alerts when testers attempted to install 500 different clean apps via Google Play and third-party app stores. The tests also looked at a variety of app features with security implications, including any anti-theft technology, parental controls, encryption, call blocking, and backup capabilities.

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