Do you have bad apps on your phone? Are you worried about downloading and installing apps? Have you heard that there are bad apps in the Google Play Store? Apps can be bad for many reasons and, although rare, they certainly exist and there is a small chance that you could install one on your Android phone or tablet. Here is how to avoid them.

Android apps can be classed as bad for several reasons. For example, they can contain malware such as viruses and Trojans, they may contain irritating adverts that pop up and spoil the fun, they may share personal information like contacts, texts, and so on, and they may use too much battery power causing the phone to need recharging after just a few hours.

One way to avoid bad apps is to use security software and there are many to choose from in the Google Play Store, such as 360 Security.

These security apps scan the system after you have downloaded and installed an app from the store. Norton Spot, from security experts Symantec, works in a different way and it checks apps before they are downloaded and installed. This means that they never get on to your phone in the first place, which is surely better than scanning them afterwards.

Download and install Norton Spot from the Play Store and run it. It does not do anything, but it probably needs to be run once to set things up. You can then quit Norton Spot.

Now go to the Play Store and find an app you would like to install. Is it safe? Does it have adverts? Does it have malware? Will it drain the battery? Scroll down the page and find the Share button. Tap it and then among the sharing options is App Scan. Select it and Norton Spot displays a report on the app that answers all your questions.

Norton Spot does not prevent apps from being installed, but given the information in the report, you can decide for yourself whether to install it. Angry Birds Epic for example, has several warnings, such as ads displayed, your location is shared, and foreground battery usage.

Google Play Store . Google Play Store

Norton Spot . Norton Spot

None of these things are particularly unusual and some people might want to go ahead and install it anyway. Others may want to avoid it. It’s your choice. The report does say that there is no malware and no unusual behaviour, which is good.

If you use Norton Spot to check apps before installing them, there is less of a need for security software on the phone or tablet. So far I have had no problems on my Samsung Galaxy S4 and the app runs fine.

It is a great way to help protect your Android device, although I do wonder whether, with over one million apps available, it knows about all of them. It is small at just over 1 MB, so install it anyway.

Title: Norton Spot
Price: Free
Developer: NortonMobile
Size: 1.2 MB
Android: 2.3.3 or later
Rating: 5/5