Smartphones may have become more powerful, but are now also more
susceptible to virus attacks, apart from the usual threat of getting
lost or stolen. A security solution therefore is very much a necessity
in these times.
BlueSprig's recently released AirCover Security app
is a newcomer to the mobile security app segment when compared to apps
from Norton, McAfee, AVG and Kaspersky.
Like most Android security
developers, BlueSprig offers AirCover Security app as a free download
from Google Play store. It comes with features to guard against malware
and theft, help enhance your privacy, block unnecessary calls and
messages, mails, and safeguard you on the web, as well as optimize your
While the free version of the AirCover Security
app does offer most features available in the premium version, such
as Anti-virus, Anti-theft, Web Protection, Privacy Advisor, Call and SMS
Blocker, and Performance optimisation, the premium version offers Virus
Database Auto Updates, Premium Anti-Theft Features (including 'Intruder
alert', SIM removal alert, remote lock/wipe), Anti-surveillance, and a
Vulnerability scan in addition. We got our hands on the Premium version
of the app, which retails for $19.99.
launching the app for the first time, you are given a brief overview of
the services AirCover Security app provides. Swiping from top left to
the bottom right of the screen will take you through the guide, and at
last, you will be prompted to either sign into your AirCover account, or
skip the sign-in to configure your account at a later time.
Security's user-interface is quite simple and very similar to other
security solutions like Norton. The top of the app's homepage houses a
status that shows how well is your device doing ,if it is safe or at risk.
Below the status, you can find the 'Checkup' option which, when used,
checks the various features of the smartphone like anti-virus, real-time
protection, system performance, anti-theft and backup contacts.
Thankfully, AirCover Security keeps itself out of the notification bar, so
unless someone is actively managing the security app, you won't notice
it's running, though it is working to secure your mobile device in the
background. The app did not hinder the smartphone's performance
noticeably, we checked it using the AnTuTu benchmark test both with
and without the AirCover Security app running, and found the difference
to be negligible.
The AirCover Security app has six
categories: Anti-virus, Anti-theft, Web Protection, Privacy Advisor,
Call and SMS Blocker, and Performance. There is a seventh option, which
is dubbed Premium Zone, and as the name suggests it is for Premium
account, and the previously mentioned additional features.
Anti-virus option offers scan for the mobile system which can be done in
Fast, Full or Custom modes. There is an option for 'real-time
protection' that scans downloaded files or apps. The Anti-virus feature
also includes a log section that shows the duration of the AirCover
Security app on a particular device, as in, for how long the app has been
protecting the mobile device. It also shows the number of malicious
URLs blocked, and number of URLs and accounts protected by the Security
app. There are Threat and Operation log sections too that offer details
about the last scan or check-up. A big difference between the premium
and the free version is that a user is required to manually update the
virus database while on premium account the virus database is
automatically updated once the update is available online.
is the Web Protection,which is fairly self-explanatory. It blocks
malicious URLs instantly and protects your personal accounts like Gmail,
Mail, Facebook, and YouTube from phishing. Though the Web protection
feature is similar on any other Security app, AirCover Security app goes
one step further with the AirCoverWeb Shield. When active, it scans
every site for phishing, fraud, harmful sites and malware to ensure safe
browsing and payments via mobile. For example, the app blocked
Freecharge.in on our mobile device as the browser showed a few ads while
we were trying to recharge our mobile number. However, we had to turn off the
AirCover Web Shield as it eats into battery life.
feature is perhaps the most important feature of a mobile
security app. These days, our mobiles store a virtual wealth of
information - contacts, emails, images, videos and much else. Losing a
handset is the most frustrating feeling, and can be quite devastating if
one doesn't have some anti-theft features in place. With AirCover
security app, the user first needs to set up an account, and then enable
Anti-theft. They will then be able to locate or lock a lost phone,
sound an alarm, clean private data and backup contacts. One can even try
the alarm and location features without setting up an
account. However, we won't advise that because
without setting an account, you would be unable to track your phone. The
AirCover Security app's Anti-theft feature is quiet similar to the
Norton Mobile Security app.
Much like Norton's Mobile Security
app, you can control the AirCover Security app's anti-theft features
from a Web portal; however, myaircover's web interface was a bit
confusing and the Anti-theft setup was initially lengthy. Interestingly,
you can even take a photo of the person using your lost or stolen device
with the Intruder alert feature.The feature can also alert you when
your SIM card is replaced. Users can access the www.myaircover.com portal
in the free version also, though the web portal greys out all the
The Privacy Advisor feature is helpful in
monitoring ads on the mobile. You can block annoying ads and uninstall
unwanted apps. There is an 'app privacy list' that scans and
displays the apps that can access personal details such as contacts,
locations and messages. For premium account users, the app also
offers Anti-surveillance feature, which can help you from being monitored
and eavesdropped on.
The Call and SMS Blocker
does exactly what you would think - it blocks certain numbers from being able to
contact you on your mobile. We were able to block some
telemarketers' numbers that disturbed us via calls and SMS. However, at
times the feature was annoying as any call from a landline number was
considered as a pesky call and was blocked instantly even without asking
for permission. We had to unblock the number everytime.
Security's Performance feature is a new addition; it helps speed up the
Android device's performance by closing apps/ killing tasks that run in
the background, and cleaning your history/ app cache/ junk files. The
feature also optimises shortcuts on the homescreens. It's worth pointing
out that even the popular Norton Security app for mobile does not offer
this Performance feature.
In addition, the AirCover Security app
also keeps an eye on the mobile device, and warns the user as soon it
detects something it doesn't like, which at times gets maddening! In one
case, the app marked few old messages from the inbox as spam and
Other premium features include the Vulnerability
Scan, which checks for third party apps' performance and overall safety.
It automatically scans the device for apps and files stored in the
built-in storage or microSD card for malware threats and marks them as
'Low-risk' or 'High-risk'. At times, it also randomly marked the
Facebook as well as Twitter mobile apps as high-risk apps that can read
mobile number, serial number and other identity data - so, this feature
didn't work too well, or rather, erred on the side of caution.
Protection is a feature that safeguards users when using banking and
payment apps, by ensuring the gateway is actually secure, and that no
suspicious activity is observed in the background. We tried the feature
on Paytm app, and experienced no hiccups. This feature supposedly runs
silently in the background, and therefore, we were not able to measure
its efficacy, and will not be able to tell you just how well it
BlueSprig's AirCover Security app is a
comprehensive option for those looking for a lower cost alternative to the
more popular mobile security suites, or are not fans of big names like
Norton or McAfee.
The anti-theft feature of the AirCover Security
app work as advertised, as we tried to locate our phone from the Web
portal and it
didn't disappoint us.
The AirCover Security app's UI is
well-designed, and all the features did work well - the result is it
comes extremely close to some big mobile security app players.
Security is available for free on Google Play store and those who like
to upgrade for enhanced features can choose a premium version that is
available for $19.99 (Rs. 1,199 approximately) which if compared to some
popular mobile security apps, is definitely good value.