Free Sophos Anti-Virus app for your Android

Filed Under: Android, Data loss, Featured, Malware, Mobile, Privacy

A recent survey of 900 Naked Security readers found that 39% of you used a smartphone running Android.

To help you better safeguard your Android phone and tablet, Sophos just published Sophos Mobile Security for Android [BETA] in Google Play.

Sophos would love it if you could take a look and provide some feedback on it. Send your thoughts by email to the Sophos mobile security team.

So, what does this app actually do?

  • protects Android smartphones and tablets from malicious apps and other risks
  • locates a lost or stolen device
  • locks a stolen device
  • scans the apps on your device and cross-check them with the latest security expertise from Sophos Labs.

Here are a few screenshots of the app in action.

Android screenshots

Android Mobile Security and EICAR test file

And even the recent fake anti-virus nasty, which attempts to send expensive SMS messages to premium-rate services is detected by Sophos Mobile Security BETA.

So, check it out, and email Sophos at SophosMobileSecurityBeta@sophos.com and tell them what needs improving.

UPDATE: Some people have reported that Sophos Mobile Security cannot be uninstalled using the standard Application Manager.

To uninstall, users should open Loss and Theft module in Sophos Mobile Security and choose Deactivate the administration capability. On that screen there is a hint: "If you want to uninstall Sophos Mobile Security, you need to deactivate its device admin capability".

Once the administration capability is deactivated, Sophos Mobile Security can be uninstalled using the usual procedure for any other app.

(Background information: Activating administrative permissions for the application on your device is required for Loss and Theft functionality. The same device administration permissions need to be *de-activated* first through Sophos Mobile Security before uninstalling.

This is standard Android behaviour. Sophos has not changed the way programs should be uninstalled.)



Android image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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42 Responses to Free Sophos Anti-Virus app for your Android

  1. ColonelFazackerley · 837 days ago

    almost 3MB and no "move to sd card" option. I would need to root my HTC Desire to make space for it.

  2. Ryan · 837 days ago

    Just curious...why does it need to receive texts and send them? Shouldn't it just be able to read them?

  3. Phil · 837 days ago

    Why does it need permission to send SMS, etc?

  4. Some folks have asked why the app requests rights to send SMS messages and access your contacts.

    When you do a remote lock or locate, the app sends you an SMS with latitude/longitude or confirmation that the lock was successful,

    Access to contacts is required because the user specifies from which other phone numbers they might wish to remotely lock/locate their missing Android. You can choose those numbers from your contacts

  5. It doesn't seem to be compatible with my Motorola Xoom tablet or my LG Ally phone. *sadface*

  6. Niall · 837 days ago

    Google play says my tablet a Motorola XOOM WiFi is not supported, will this be supported in future releases?

  7. Buzz · 837 days ago

    Bummer :( not compatible with Xperia X8 either :(

  8. Jason · 837 days ago

    I'm a huge Sophos fan so I've downloaded it to try. Some online documentation would be great so we know how to use the remote security features. Couldn't find any if but I may have missed it.

    • Thomas Brand · 836 days ago

      The documentation will be ready when the BETA is finished and the product will be released.

    • Samuel · 836 days ago

      Just found out that the documentation is built-in! Just open the page in the app you want to know more about (e.g. Loss & Theft), press the menu button on the phone and select "Info"...

  9. Samuel · 837 days ago

    I guess it is just an issue with Google Play. Cause when I download it to my phone, backup the APK file to the SD Card and send it to my XOOM it works quite well there! Actually it seems that this app has been designed for tablets - it uses the additional space available on a tablet screen.

    • vanjasvajcer · 835 days ago

      Yes, the app has been designed with tablets in mind (and IMHO it looks even nicer on tablets) but for some reason Google play decided it was not. We are in the process of resolving this with Google Play.

      In the mean time, if you have a tablet and have an issue with installation, feel free to send us an email to sophosmobilesecuritybeta@sophos.com and we will send you a Sophos Mobile Security APK installation file directly.

  10. Jan Apel · 837 days ago

    Asus eeepad transformer tf101g is also not supported :-(

  11. Brandon · 837 days ago

    Google play says that my HTC Flyer is not compatible with it..... To bad. I would love to use it!

  12. Tony · 837 days ago

    I've been wondering whether Sophos would produce an antivirus product for Android ever since I found out about their iPhone equivalent. And now they have.

    I've installed it on my HTC Desire, Android 2.2, and run an initial scan without a hitch.

    Thank you, Sophos.

  13. rock_box · 837 days ago

    Haven't played with it yet, but will it detect a SIM change?

    • Thomas Brand · 836 days ago

      SIM changes will not be detected. However, all functions will continue to work after a change.

  14. Will this remain free after beta? I'm not an Android user (iOS here) but I'd love to recommend a (decent + trustworthy) free AV to my Android using friends.

    • Yes, the plan is for this app to remain free.

      There may be a future paid-for version with additional functionality made available. Watch this space.

    • vanjasvajcer · 835 days ago

      Yes, when the full version is released, it will be free.

      However, we are also working on an enterprise version, which will contain some additional functionality, like integration with Sophos Mobile Control. This application will be licensed.

  15. Noen · 836 days ago

    Will it be free Wien lut of beta?

  16. SMSEC_BETA · 836 days ago

    We are currently experiencing some problems with the play store. The app cannot be downloaded to most of the Tablets.
    The Play Store will block the app from being installed on Tablets.

    If you cannot download the App, please send a mail to "SophosMobileSecurityBeta@Sophos.com" and we will send you the app via mail.

  17. hasan · 836 days ago

    Wow! another free app!
    Please develop a free app for Windows (on-access) protection!! for home-users :D

    I like and use (forever) your Mac-based AV and also new virus removal for Windows

    Yes! you can protect all digital world :) simple + secure ;)

  18. Juan · 836 days ago

    Not compatible with Lenovo Idea K1

  19. Serros · 836 days ago

    do I need to uninstall Avast or they can run together?

    • SMSEC_BETA · 836 days ago

      They should run together. However, this was not tested before by Sophos.

  20. IronkeyStreetGang · 836 days ago

    Works great wIth look out mobIle securIty suIte .

  21. Matt · 836 days ago

    Had it on my Sony Xperia Arc since yesterday, very impressive.
    Lightweight, unintrusive and not a battery killer, it ran through a full
    scan of my phone in a little under a minute.

    Tried the location feature - looks like you need to restart the phone after configuration
    for this to work, but it works perfectly after that.

    One point to consider - could be misused to track your location, as you need to enter 'trusted' numbers for this to work, and I suspect most people will enter their partner's number.

    Although to be fair, this is similar to Apple's Find My Phone :)

    all in all, quality app.

    • SMSEC_BETA · 836 days ago

      To prevent the misuse of the locate function you also have to define a password. Simply keep this one to yourself and change it after you had to use it.

  22. D E · 836 days ago

    I currently have Lookout - is this superior to Lookout, or are they compatible?

    • IronkeyStreetGang · 836 days ago

      so far no problems runnIng the two together .

  23. Stephen Hall · 836 days ago

    I have just downloaded it to my Samsung Galaxy S2 and immediately ran a scan. It didn't take long, and all is good.
    I will try the other features over the next few days and report back to Sophos if necessary.

  24. Carla · 836 days ago

    One thing am not sure what are the diff commands to lock/ locate the phone as there is no instructions how to send it via text from friend's phone

    • SMSEC_BETA · 836 days ago

      Just open the "Loss & Theft" pages and click on "Menu" -> "Info". This will geive you instructions on how to send the commands.

    • Matt · 835 days ago

      Carla,

      When you are your phone in the Loss & Theft section, if you press the menu key on yoru phone, you can select Info, which explains how it works, but the essentials are (in both cases, replace <password> with the password you created):

      Remote Locate
      Send a SMS from a pre-registered number with the text:

      locate <password>

      Remote Lock
      Send a SMS from a pre-registered number with the text:

      lock <password>

    • vanjasvajcer · 835 days ago

      If you go to Loss and Theft module and press the "Menu" button on the device you will see the instructions on how to do it. Basically, once you define your password and phones allowed to remotely locate or lock your device, you send an SMS message, from a device you have allowed to locate your device.

      The content of the SMS message should be "locate <password>" . After few seconds you should receive back an SMS message from your phone with the location information.

  25. Suggestion: Text message is all well and good but would it be possible to recieve the reply by email aswel as text. Say if there is a gmail account registered on the phone.

    • SMSEC_BETA · 833 days ago

      Thanks for your hint. I will forward this feature request to development.

  26. Roy jones jr · 832 days ago

    Who says stuff doesn't get done in the IT world?? Props to Sophos for due diligence. Thats kind of unheard of where I work.

  27. Olaf Menkens · 832 days ago

    Thanks for this nice app. It works fine on my HTC desire. Just for clarification: As far as I understand, this app has got no pro-active "on-access scanner", but just an "on-demand scan" feature.

    Some remarks / improvement ideas:

    - Under Loss & Theft it took me some time to find out, that I can switch to the next settings simply by wiping to the right. Perhaps you should add an arrow as a visual hint.

    - SIM change detection (suggested by rock_box) is essential, otherwise I can't know the phone number where to send the lock SMS.

    - I would appreciate, if there were 2 different passwords for locate and lock. If - as in my case - the mobile phone belongs to the company, they should be able to lock the phone in case of theft, but not to spy the employees location. But (as I know SEC) I guess you already have other / better ideas for a commercial / centrally managed version for professional use :-)

    Olaf.

    • Sam · 830 days ago

      Not exactly. This app has an "on-demand scan" feature but also an automatic "on-installation scanner". So whenever you install an app, it WILL get scanned (unless you disable this feature in the settings dialog).

  28. saon Islam · 726 days ago

    I think there are millions of fake antivirus in android apps. They don't work even they slow the device. I am fully disturbed about this. Let's see what happend, I am going to use this.

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About the author

Hi. I am a social, brand and communications expert with 10 years in senior roles in the tech space. I'm currently Sophos' s Global Director of Social Media and Communities. Proudest work achievement? Creating and launching award-winning Naked Security. Outside work, I am a mean cook, an avid reader, a chronic insomniac, a podcast obsessive and blogger .