by Gary Sims on December 13, 2013 9:26 am There seems to be two extreme opinions about malware on Android. At one end is the clarion call of the security companies and their doomsday warnings about the thousands of malicious bits of malware that are flying around in the ether. At the other extreme are those who say never been a problem, just be sensible about what you download. The truth, as is so often the case, is somewhere in between the two. Google has done great work to increase the layers of protection offered by Android and the Verify Apps function, which scans all apps as they are being installed regardless of the source, makes Android fairly safe. In fact earlier this year, Googles executive chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt declared that Android is more secure than the iPhone. What Verify Apps cant protect you against is transporting PC or Mac malware on your device or protect you from other attack vectors such as malicious websites or files designed to exploit vulnerabilities in apps like Adobes Acrobat Reader. Recently the independent malware test lab AV-Test.org tested 28 Android antivirus apps against a representative set of malicious apps discovered in the previous month. The testing, which used 2,124 samples in total, discovered that the industry average detection rate is now 96.6 percent, some 6 percent higher than when it last performed such testing. Many of the apps managed to detect 100 percent of the malware and overall there were only a few false positives and only two apps failed to get certification. 12 of the 28 managed a perfect detection rate: ProductDetection Rateavast! Mobile Security version 3.0 Google Play%100.00Avira Free Android Security version 2.1 Google Play%100.00ESET Mobile Security & Antivirus version 2.0 Google Play%100.00Ikarus mobile.security version 1.7 Google Play%100.00Kaspersky Internet Security version 11.2 Google Play%100.00Kingsoft Mobile Security version 3.2 Google Play%100.00Trend Micro Mobile Security version 3.5 Google Play%100.00TrustGo Mobile Security version 1.3 Google Play%100.00NQ Mobile Security version 6.8 Google Play%100.00Symantec Norton Mobile Security version 3.7 Google Play%100.00Antiy AVL version 2.2 Google Play%100.00G Data Internet Security version 25.0 Google Play%100.00 It is also worth pointing out that many of the antivirus apps available from the Play Store are in fact security suites and they offer much more than just malware detection. Among the extras are anti-theft features like remote lock/wipe/locate, message filtering, backup, firewalls, parental control functions and so on. This means if you are going to install a security app, make sure it is good at finding malware and it offers the extra features you need.