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CSA Recommended Anti-Virus Apps

In a proactive move against escalating mobile security threats, Singapore’s Cyber Security Agency (CSA) made its debut list of endorsed antivirus apps public. This initiative is part of a larger national campaign, launched recently, to fortify individuals and the community against the unseen enemy lurking in the digital shadows.

The campaign didn’t just stop at suggesting antivirus applications. It took a holistic approach by urging the populace to embrace two-factor authentication, and robust passwords, and to keep their software updated. Furthermore, it sheds light on the importance of staying vigilant against phishing scams.

Among the recommended antivirus apps, seven each are listed for Android and iOS platforms, with both free and paid versions included. This thoughtful categorization caters to a broad spectrum of users, providing a starting point for those unfamiliar with cybersecurity measures.

Data Source: https://www.csa.gov.sg/docs/default-source/our-programmes/cybersecurity-outreach/the-unseen-enemy/security-apps_infographic.pdf

Android Security AppsSubscriptionGoogle Play Store
Avast Antivirus and SecurityFree4.7 ★ 7.17M reviews
AVG Antivirus and SecurityFee4.8 ★ 7.77M reviews
Kaspersky Antivirus and VPNPaid4.7 ★ 4.09M reviews
Lookout Security and AntivirusPaid4.7 ★ 1.14M reviews
McAfee Security: VPN AntivirusPaid3.5 ★ 824K reviews
Mobile Security and Antivirus (Trend Micro)Paid4.7 ★ 30K reviews
Norton360 Antivirus and SecurityPaid4.6 stars 1.78M reviews

iOS Security AppsSubscriptionApple App Store
Avast Security & PrivacyFree4.8 ★ 705 Ratings
AVG Mobile SecurityFree4.7 ★ 578 Ratings
Kaspersky: VPN & AntivirusPaid4.7 ★ 123 Ratings
Lookout – Mobile Data SecurityPaid4.6 ★ 220 Ratings
McAfee Security: Privacy & VPNPaid4.5 ★ 1.6K Ratings
Norton 360 Security & VPNPaid4.3 ★ 263 Ratings
TM Mobile Security
(Trend Micro)
Paid4.6 ★ 763 Ratings

Communications and Information Minister, Josephine Teo, at the launch event, pointed out a common oversight – many aren’t aware of the necessity of shielding their devices with antivirus software. This initiative, she believes, simplifies the decision for individuals by providing a ready reckoner of reliable antivirus apps.

The CSA didn’t just randomly pick these apps. They underwent rigorous testing in August, where they were installed on devices, which were then infected with recent malware variants to assess the effectiveness of these apps. Additionally, their prowess in identifying known phishing sites was also evaluated.

However, the CSA was candid about the limitations. Antivirus apps can’t promise absolute protection. Especially on iOS devices, where due to Apple’s stringent safety protocols, antivirus apps can’t scan other apps for malware, thereby limiting the CSA’s ability to fully test them.

The stark rise in scam cases, as reported by the police, underscores the urgency of this campaign. From January to June, the reported scam cases surged from 13,576 in 2022 to 22,339 in 2023, with victims suffering a staggering loss of $334.5 million in the first half of 2023 alone. Malware scams, in particular, have emerged as a preferred tool for scammers, tricking victims into downloading malicious apps which in turn grants the hacker complete control over their device.

This initiative is timely as malware scammers have already siphoned off at least $500,000 since August, exploiting festivities like the Mid-Autumn Festival to lure victims. As the CSA chief executive, David Koh, warned, the scammers are likely to devise new stratagems, underscoring the essence of practicing good cyber hygiene to stay a step ahead of these cyber adversaries.

Singapore’s endeavor serves as a blueprint for other nations to bolster their cyber defense mechanisms. It is a reminder that as individuals and communities, staying educated, vigilant, and equipped with reliable cybersecurity tools is imperative in navigating the treacherous waters of the digital realm.

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Singapore’s Cyber Security Agency (CSA) is a governmental organization established to ensure a resilient cyber environment for the nation. Its mandate encompasses overseeing cybersecurity operations, policy and technology needed to safeguard Singapore’s interests in the cyberspace realm. The CSA coordinates between sectors, ensuring a unified national effort against cyber threats, which is crucial given today’s digital-dependant society. It also engages in public and international partnerships to foster a collective approach towards a secure cyberspace. Through initiatives like public campaigns and releasing recommended lists of cybersecurity tools, CSA aims to empower individuals and organizations in Singapore to take proactive steps in managing cyber risks and ensuring digital security.

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