(WXYZ) - As the use of mobile devices keeps growing for both smart phones and tablets, the need to protect your information is becoming a bigger concern. Most mobile devices run on Android systems, so Consumer Reports just tested more than a dozen apps designed to keep Android devices safe.
These apps protect you against online threats like viruses and malware. They also help you, if your phone is lost or stolen to remotely lock it or find it or wipe it. Consumer Reports' testers checked to see how well each app protects a user's privacy.
Testers looked at the apps' ease of use and also their versatility, including such features as being able to back up your phone or parental controls. While some of the apps cost as much as $40 a year, Consumer Reports found that you don't have to pay for good mobile protection. Some of the best apps tested were free, and some of the lower-rated ones were the more expensive ones.
In fact, one of the best is the free app—Avast! Mobile Security and Antivirus. It has nice features like parental controls, automatic backup, and an alarm you can activate if your device goes missing.
iPhones are less susceptible to viruses and malware because Apple's store is the only source for apps. There have been few reports of any problems. However, no phone is immune to theft. If you have an iPhone, you can use the "Find My iPhone" feature to locate your phone on a map or remotely lock or delete all data to prevent a thief from accessing it.
Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports' website. Subscribe to ConsumerReports.org .