Does your smartphone or tablet need anti-virus or security software? Clearly, Sophos does as they've released a new app for Android users.
The Sophos Mobile Security app enforces security settings, the ability to lock or wipe the phone using a text message from up to five specific phone numbers and a privacy advisor that checks your apps and tells you what they can access.
It offers some of the key features of a mobile device management application at a much lower cost.
It doesn't scan for viruses but we're not sure that's a big deal yet. A lost phone, with lots of personal information is probably a bigger problem although that could change if a widespread virus threat hit Android.
Do you need it? We'd suggest that if you have an Android device and it's holding any personal data then a security app is a good thing to have. The Sophos Mobile Security app worked well in our testing and is worth considering.
A recently released report [PDF] by Trend Micro (also a security software company) suggests that, as of the second quarter of 2012, 25000 Android malware apps have been identified. This is an increase of 317% over the number of samples found in the first quarter of 2012. The research found that only 1 in 5 Android devices have a security app installed.
A survey of 900 Naked Security (Sophos' blog) readers found that 39 percent used a smartphone running Android. They also say that according to Juniper Networks and another security software vendor, F-Secure, the number of Android malware families nearly quadrupled from 2011 to 2012.