Did DroidSecurity make the right choice when it decided to put all its eggs into the Android basket?
Apparently so. The startup celebrated a milestone this week, surpassing the 2.5 million user threshold for its mobile security app, antivirus free. The announcement comes the same week Nielsen declared that Android nosed past Apple’s iOS in the last quarter to grab 27 percent of new U.S. smartphone subscribers compared with Apple’s 23 percent.
But it’s not all about smartphones. Chief Technology Officer Dror Shalev says the company believes the Android platform represents opportunities in all kinds of devices, from tablets and netbooks to set-top boxes, TVs and PCs – maybe even as a replacement for Windows.
Because it’s open source, the Android code is exposed to the good guys and the bad guys, Shalev notes. That represents a whole new game where applications, user-generated content, text messaging and other features are susceptible to hackers, spyware or otherwise malicious activities.
He says DroidSecurity, which is based in Tel Aviv, Israel, is a small leaf on the back of a giant, but the company does its best to let Google know when it finds security-related bugs so they can get fixed. Some security vendors only work on the higher-end versions of Android, but DroidSecurity makes a point to support all flavors.
DroidSecurity’s app is designed for easy installation and for protection without the user having to do much more than download it, according to Shalev. It offers various levels of protection with the most basic being free and a premium version that sells for $9.99.
Shalev says DroidSecurity’s solution is installed in about 10 percent of all Android devices worldwide, and its antivirus free routinely ranks in the top 50 of most popular Android Market apps.
In the spirit of educating mobile users on best practices, the company released a “watch list” of known problems with Android apps at www.droidsecurity.com/securitycenter.html. It also released a list of high-risk mobile practices that should be avoided, such as conducting online banking activities via unofficial apps, downloading apps from untrusted sources and installing apps that don’t come with positive user feedback or ratings.