The free version supports application audit that "allows users to keep track of each application's permission requirements, displaying which applications try to access the Internet or sensitive data (Contacts list, Messages, Calendar entries, Photo gallery," and on-demand and on-install scanning of applications, and content files.
The application audit feature will also indicate what applications have been granted the permission to access billable device functions such as making phone calls or sending text messages."
The premium version adds the option to remotely locate, lock, wipe or send a message to the Android device and makes user of BitDefender Cloud services to alert users, when browsing, about web-pages that contain malware, phishing or fraudulent content.
I have had the beta version installed for several months, and been re-assured by its pronouncement that every app downloaded is clean. Other than that the product has been quite un-noticed.
For this article, I initiated a manual scan of all my apps and music files that took less than a minute, gave feedback on the file being scanned and pronounced all to be clean.
The various functions are easy to activate - the application audit provides very comprehensive information on what each application can do and the installed base can be filtered to show those that have the potential to compromise privacy, and full details displayed showing just what personal information the app can access and what it can do with that.
The way the remote lock works can be a bit confusing. You have to enter a four digit pin on the BitDefender web site and this then, at least on my Motorola Atrix, changes any screen lock pin you have set to the one you entered but this works one time only: after you have entered it on the phone screen lock via pin is disabled and must be re-activated.
I tested the location feature some time ago and it worked to within the limits of cell-site based location (a few hundred metres). However when we tried again at the time of writing it would not locate the phone.
When you activate the locate phone feature on the phone you get a warning that GPS is not enabled. GPS could give much more accurate location, but would rapidly drain the battery and cannot be remotely activated. In any case if a phone has been lost or stolen the chances of it having line of site to the satellites would be small.
I have sought feedback from BitDefender on the location feature failure and will update this article when it becomes available.
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