We were highly impressed with Kaspersky Mobile Security Lite, which we tested on an Android 4.0 smartphone. There’s also a £12.95 app for Android tablets. See also Top ten Android apps.

As with lots of security apps, a numerical PIN is used to lock the handset, recoverable via a registered email address. Visit all Security Software reviews.

Kaspersky’s cloud-based Security Network automatically checks anything you attempt to install against its database. Kaspersky takes an informative approach. Hints explain every element, along with a multitude of extra features, marked with a crown, albeit only in the £7.95 paid-for version. See also: Group test: what's the best Android antivirus?

The phone filter can be set separately for calls and text messages. This doesn’t scan your existing phone contacts, so it’s best to manually enter numbers to block in the blacklist, rather than whitelisting everyone you know. Should you need to, you can remotely block your handset by entering a preset SMS code and confirming the action via the prearranged email bounced your way. However, you need to set Kaspersky Mobile Security Lite as the default home screen on your handset in order to use this service – presumably so the ‘this phone is blocked’ message can appear.

Remote wipe also involves a coded text message and deletes your contacts, calls and calendar items. The paid-for version lets you specify folders of, perhaps, photos, to delete too. This and the remote lock need you to set up a separate Kaspersky account from which an SMS can be sent to your handset, revealing its location. It’s a clunky workaround, but the links to do so are provided. The paid-for version uses the more satisfactory email option to reveal the missing handset’s whereabouts.

Verdict: Kaspersky’s strength is in its well-rated malware detection and cloud-based app filtering. Mobile Security Lite proved a match for all the other apps. There are more elegant ways of locking and wiping a missing device, but for day-to-day app security, Kaspersky is hard to beat.

Kaspersky Mobile Security Lite: Specs

  • Sise: 4.5MB
  • Requires Android: 1.5 and up
  • Sise: 4.5MB
  • Requires Android: 1.5 and up

OUR VERDICT

Kaspersky’s strength is in its well-rated malware detection and cloud-based app filtering. Mobile Security Lite proved a match for all the other apps. There are more elegant ways of locking and wiping a missing device, but for day-to-day app security, Kaspersky is hard to beat.

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