A few days ago we wrote about the various Facebook apps that are available, and how as business users you can use them to increase and improve the ways in which you use Facebook to connect with your customers and clients. And in January, we wrote about a few apps you can use to turn your phone into a portable office.

But there are so many apps available, especially for Android and iOS, and more being published every week. The next few blog posts will focus on different categories of apps that you can use on your personal phone, and on your business phone, starting with apps and hacks to improve the security of your phone.

Avast Free Mobile Security

Available for free (with in-app upgrades) on both Android and iOS, the Avast anti-virus and anti-theft app has a range of features that will protect your phone.

  • ·        Web shield and firewall to detect and remove mobile viruses and malware.
  • ·        App-specific locking, adding an extra layer of security to certain apps, for example Amazon.
  • ·         Stealth mode, hiding the app in case of theft.
  • ·         App disguiser, allows you to ‘rename’ the app, again hiding it in case of theft.
  • ·         Tracker, as well as a remote lock and wipe function, if your phone is lost or stolen.

Experts suggest that the app is not 100% effective at detecting malware-infected URLs, but has a high enough detection-rate, and offers a thorough all-round protection package. Certainly an app worth getting.

Other options: 360 Mobile Security, ESET Mobile Security and Antivirus

Google Authenticator

Available on Android, iOS, and Blackberry, Google Authenticator offers an extra level of security, known as ‘two-step verification’ when you log into certain apps or sites. For example, if you have installed Authenticator, when you log into your gmail account, you will need to enter your email address and password as normal, as well as a one-use code generated by the app.

Potentially a good idea – and will offer peace of mind to those who have had email or Facebook accounts hacked before – but we want to see it become a little more streamlined before we’ll all be downloading it en masse.


Available on Android, iOS, and Windows, Prey is primarily an anti-theft software. The free account will allow you to monitor up to three devices at one time, and if your device is lost or stolen, you can track it.

There are other features as well, including an option to take periodic web-cam photos if the device you are monitoring is a laptop. Reviewers have noted that the app will send you an email notification when you receive a report, which could alert thieves to the fact that they are being tracked, but this feature can be deactivated.

However you decide to do it, at Fivebars Mobile we recommend that you take some security precautions with your phone. Install an anti-virus, register it with a tracker, and – if it’s worth it – get insurance. And don’t leave it behind on the bus.