Kaspersky Offering Free Anti-Theft, AV Protection for Android

Security firm Kaspersky said on Monday that its Kaspersky Tablet Security app for Android tablets, and its Kaspersky Mobile Security app for Android smartphones, are now available for free. They're not watered-down trial versions either. These are reliable security solutions to prevent theft and keep the devices free of malware.

Of course, there are premium features in each that can be unlocked with a paid subscription. These include automatic and scheduled system scans (the free versions only provide on-demand scans). The premium smartphone client provides automatic scanning and filtering on text messages while both clients receive immediate protection first.

However, Kaspersky claims that all core security features and anti-theft tools are fully functional in the free mode of Kaspersky Tablet/Mobile Security, with the automated premium features available for purchase directly from the device. The security apps also now include two new features introduced in this release: the "Alarm" anti-theft and the "Mugshot" features.

"As soon as it is activated, the tablet emits a loud siren, which continues until the owner finds the device and enters a secret code," the company said. "Users can also remotely activate the tablet’s camera to take a series of “mugshot” photos to identify whoever is using the missing device. If the tablet cannot be found for any reason, the owner can remotely block the device and remove sensitive data from its memory."

It's no surprise that Kaspersky Lab is releasing free security apps for Android. The company has stated that the number of Android-targeted threats grew 200-fold in 2011, while more threats were discovered in the first quarter of 2012 than in all of 2011. That said, malware for Android has displaced all other mobile threats, as about 99-percent of all mobile malware targets this platform.

The download links provided by Kaspersky Lab lead directly to the firm's website, and allows customers to download (and side-load) the clients with 30 days of full-blown coverage. After that, it's presumed that the clients will revert to "free mode" until the customer clicks the "Buy Now" link in the app and purchases a license in the online store.

Kaspersky Tablet Security costs $19.95 for one year, and Kaspersky Mobile Security is $14.95 for one year. For more information about these new clients, read the tablet announcement here and the smartphone announcement here.

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Kevin started taking PCs apart in the 90s when Quake was on the way and his PC lacked the required components. Since then, he’s loved all things PC-related and cool gadgets ranging from the New Nintendo 3DS to Android tablets. He is currently a contributor at Digital Trends, writing about everything from computers to how-to content on Windows and Macs to reviews of the latest laptops from HP, Dell, Lenovo, and more.