Avast Mobile Security: FAQ - General

Avast Mobile Security FAQ - General

System Requirements

Download and Installation

Features and Settings

Other questions

Troubleshooting payments

What are the system requirements for Avast Mobile Security?

In order to install and run Avast Mobile Security, any phone capable of running operating systems Android 2.1.x, 2.2.x, 2.3.x, 3.x or 4.x is required. Please mention that there is no possibility for syncing the account with the Avast Portal on 2.1 device, because Google did not provide such a support for those devices. In case you are using custom ROM, you can experience some strange behavior. Please report your feedback via our support pages.

Note:
Avast Mobile security isn't supported (isn't compatible, cannot be installed and won't run) on Symbian, iOS, Microsoft Windows Phone/Mobile, Bada, WebOS, or any other operating system which is not specified as supported. There are some plans for iOS platform, but nothing certain or specific is given.


Is Avast Mobile Security supported on Apple iPhone or Apple iPad?

No, only phones capable of running operating systems Android 2.1.x, 2.2.x, 2.3.x, 3.x or 4.x are supported by Avast Mobile Security. iOS operating system used on Apple iPhone or Apple iPad, is not supported. There are some plans for iOS platform, but nothing certain or specific is given.


Is Avast Mobile Security supported on Nokia phones?

No, only phones capable of running operating systems Android 2.1.x, 2.2.x, 2.3.x, 3.x or 4.x are supported by Avast Mobile Security. Operating systems like Symbian, Microsoft Windows Phone, Maemo/MeeGo or any other used on Nokia phones, are not supported.


Does Avast Mobile Security also work on Android tablets?

Yes, Avast Mobile Security works fine on Android tablets. However, some of the features may not work as expected. For example, the Anti-Theft component currently uses SMS commands to communicate with the device once it's stolen or lost. If your tablet doesn't have 3G support (doesn't have a SIM card), then obviously the SMS commands won't work and you won't be able to control the device in any way.

In such case, you can use the Avast Portal for controlling your device remotely. For this operation your device must be paired with your Avast account - if you do not have one, please sign in on dedicated pages.

For questions concerning low end tablets or MIPS architecture, please follow this link.


Does Avast Mobile Security support Android 4.x (Ice Cream Sandwich/ICS and Jelly Bean)?

Yes, Avast Mobile Security is supported on official releases of Android 4.x (Ice Cream Sandwich/Jelly Bean), but some vendors are changing it for their purposes and in this case you can experience unwanted behavior. Please reffer these to our forum or our support.
How is the installation done on multi user space? Please see here.


Avast Mobile Security is only available for Android. Do you plan to support other mobile platforms as well?

While we'd love to support other platforms, such as iOS (Apple iPhone/iPad), Blackberry and Symbian, the obvious platform of choice for the first version of the product was Android. This is not only because it's the platform most commonly targeted by attackers these days, but also because the number of Android handhelds is growing at an incredible pace. Last but not least, the Android platform is also the friendliest when it comes to app developers, especially security apps. For example, the limitations of the iOS platform make it really difficult to come up with a meaningful security product for Apple iPhone/iPad.


I have a low end device or device with MIPS processor. Will the Avast Mobile Security work on such a device?

Generally said yes, many MIPS vendors declared, that their devices are compatible with Android code, but it is not true at real. Some devices can experience serious problems running Avast Mobile Security or it could be completely impossible to install our product on some of them. Google did not reveal any MIPS source code, so Avast Mobile Security is primary targeted for ARM architecture.


Some of the functionalities are different from the documentation. Is Avast Mobile Security compatible with all vendors and manufacturers?

Yes, Avast Mobile Security is compatible with all ARM Android devices, but each vendor or manufacturer does slight changes in their devices, so some features can be have different behavior or, in the worst case, should not work at all. Please mention, that Avast can not be aware of such changes, because those are not thing of public knowledge. In most cases only the customer of mentioned vendor can use its features, so it is understandable, that Avast will not cover them all. Anyway, we will be glad for any feedback.We know about Sony Ericsson devices, which are not capable to turn on GPS without user action, or about Kindle Fire, where the Google Cloud messaging is not available, so you will not able to connect to Avast account.


Why should I install a security product on my phone? There's no viruses anyway, right?

First, it's important to realize that Avast Mobile Security Setup goes well beyond malware protection. Components like Anti-Theft, Firewall, App Manager or SMS and Call Filter are very useful irrespective of the malware situation and are all a good reason to install the product.

However, even the malware situation is not that great. To date, we have registered thousands of unique apps that exhibit malicious behavior. Most of them were pulled from the market relatively soon (some didn't even make it to the market), but we dare to say that we can detect them faster.

Also, some of the threats are completely platform independent. A great example is phishing. Here's how it works: you are sent a link to a website that looks and feels exactly like your online banking site, but in fact it's a fake site whose purpose is to capture your credentials and steal your money. This has been a long-time classic on the desktop, but as people start browsing the web using their mobile devices it's also becoming a problem here. Therefore, it does make sense to have an app that will alert you whenever you do something slike this (in case of Avast Mobile Security, the Web Shield component takes care phishing URL filtering). Especially given it's free.


How to download Avast Mobile Security?

Avast Mobile Security is available for download either via Google Play (Android Market) or our website (if you access it from your mobile phone):

How to install Avast Mobile Security?

Installation of Avast Mobile Security Setup to your phone is easiest via Google Play (Android Market):

  1. Open 'Market' from All Apps screen in your Android phone and search for Avast Mobile Security by using the the keyword "AVAST" entered into the Search field on the top of the Android Market screen, or you can open the following link:

    ...via Internet browser, and when asked, select 'Complete action using Market' to open the link in the Android Market application.

  2. Select 'Download' on the Avast Mobile Security screen, and if asked for permissions, select 'Accept & Download'.

  3. Once the download is complete, choose 'Open' to initiate Setup.

  4. Select 'Agree' to confirm that you have read and accept the terms of the AVAST End User License Agreement.

  5. Choose 'Set Up' to initialize avast Anti-Theft setup.

  6. Then select 'Continue' to check for system prerequisites needed to use Avast Anti-Theft technology.

  7. Now you can choose, whether you wish to proceed with Root Installation mode which requires your phone to be rooted, but offers special features, like making the application hard-reset proof. To proceed with normal installation of Avast Anti-Theft, leave the Root Installation checkbox empty. Then select 'Continue'.

  8. On the next screen select 'Continue' to set your custom application name for your avast Anti-Theft installation. Once you have entered disguise-name, select 'Continue' again. In Android it is not possible to completely hide an installation entry of an application within the Application Manager. While other vendors simply ignore this fact and keep their applications visible there, we will package a customized Avast Anti-Theft installer package for you which is labeled with the disguise-name that you give here. As a result it is very hard for thieves to find out if Avast Anti-Theft is installed on the phone or not - as the name of the application is completely unsuspecting.

  9. Setup will help you download your customized package and then choose 'Install' twice to complete the installation.

  10. Once the installation is complete, you can choose 'Done' to open Avast Mobile Security user interface, or 'Open' to open Avast Anti-Theft configuration.

  11. Please do not forget to set you PIN Recovery in the 'Settings' section.

Note:
Steps 1. - 3. can differ slightly depending on your phone type, used operating system version and its vendor customizations.


How to install Avast Mobile Security on multi-user device?

New version of Android OS (4.2) provides multi-user space on one device, typically used for tablets. When this environment is set, one of the users has to be an administrator, but every users data are separated in emulated storages. It means, that every user can share the installation of the Avast Mobile Security, but needs to set it up on himself.

Once the application is installed on the device, the others can share it, but can not share the users data - so you do not need to download the Avast Mobile Security again, only set it up.

Please remember, that only that user who installed the Avast Mobile Security can uninstall it from the device. In case you dare to use Avast Antitheft, the situation is the same - application can be shared, but the data not.

In case the device is locked by the phone administrator account, others will not be able to unlock it as well track it or send any remote commands.


How to install Avast Anti-Theft?

There are two ways how to install Avast Anti-Theft on your device - the first will redirect you into Google Play Store, where our application, named "Update Agent", can be found and the second, which will redirect you to our secured pages. Both ways have their pros and cons, e.g. using Update Agent you will not be bothered with system settings, but the application is still visible in apps pool, etc. Please see what is Update Agent or Advanced installation of Anti-Theft.


What is Update Agent?

The Update Agent is an Avast Anti-Theft application hosted on Google Play Store and is possible to reach it from installation wizzard. Clicking on this possibility, you will be redirected to Google Play Store and you need to download the application as you are normally used to. Is strongly recommended to enable Auto Update option. Once the application is installed, you can open it and set up all the necessary things, like PIN, friendly number etc. The application will be visible until you reboot your device. The main advantage for this way of installation is the simplicity - just download the application from the Google Play Store, set it up and be free.


What is advanced installation of Avast Anti-Theft?

In case you want to use Avast Anti-Theft for rooted devices or you do not want to use Google Play Store for downloading it, there is an old fashion way for installation. Just tap on the advanced installation modeand choose the application name, rooted or non-rooted option and send it to our side - there is server waiting for this and it will create your own package with selected options and send it back to your device. This way could bring some complicated settings of your device, like device administrator, third party applications and access to system partitions.


What is "Issues" yellow button at Avast Anti-Theft?

After successful installation of Avast Anti-Theft application some of the settings could be found as non-optimal, therefore the application will try to take your attention by using "Issues" button. This button will show you, what should be done for maximum safety of your device and you can perform the operation by just clicking on the selected or/and highlighted issue. Sometimes the issue can not be solved by application itself and the user action is required - like enable or disable installation of third party applications or removing the conflicting application. If you are not sure what to do, please drop an email to our support department.


How to uninstall Avast Mobile Security?

To uninstall the whole Avast Mobile Security please follow these steps:

  1. At first, your Avast Password (4-6 digits, only numbers) will be needed. Please go into Avast Mobile Security and tap onto 'Settings'

  2. Here open 'Avast Anti-Theft Removal Wizard'

  3. Enter your Avast Password and follow the steps in Avast Anti-Theft Removal Wizard, which will guide you through the rest of the uninstallation process.

  4. Open your phones 'Settings' from All Apps screen in your Android phone.

  5. Select the option 'Applications', then 'Manage Applications'.

  6. Select the option 'Avast Mobile Security'.

  7. On te next screen select 'Uninstall' and then 'OK' to confirm unistallation of Avast Mobile Security.

  8. Once the uninstallation of Avast Mobile Security is complete select 'OK' to get back to Manage Applications screen.

Note:
These steps can differ slightly depending on your phone type, used operating system version and its vendor customizations.


How to uninstall Avast Anti-Theft?

To uninstall Avast Anti-Theft please follow these steps:

  1. At first, your Avast Password (4-6 digits, only numbers) will be needed. Please go into Avast Mobile Security and tap onto 'Settings'

  2. Here open 'Avast Anti-Theft Removal Wizard'

  3. Enter your Avast Password and follow the steps in Avast Anti-Theft Removal Wizard, which will guide you through the rest of the uninstallation process.

  4. In case you do not have Avast Mobile Security installed and want to uninstall Avast Anti-Theft vie the wizard, please install Avast Mobile Security to be able reach the wizard.


What can I do if the uninstallation of Avast Anti-Theft doesn't work?

If the uninstallation of Avast Anti-Theft doesn't work you probably set it as Device administrator in your phone settings during the configuration. To disable device admin settings for Avast Anti-Theft follow these steps:

  1. Open 'Avast Mobile' from All Apps screen in your Android phone.

  2. Select the option 'Anti-Theft', then 'Set up advanced settings', then 'Lock text, GPS Wipe' and afterwards 'Device admin' at the bottom of the screen.

  3. Now ensure that option with custom application name you chose for Avast Anti-Theft during the installation is not enabled, otherwise clear the checkbox on the right side to deactivate device admin for 'Avast Anti-Theft'.

  4. Exit the 'Avast Mobile Security' user interface.

Note:
To remove a Root installation of Avast Anti-Theft you can use free tool called Titanium Backup which is also available on Google Play (Android Market). You were offered to choose Root installation mode (which requires your phone to be rooted) during the setup process, or continue a normal installation. The Avast Anti-Theft Removal Wizard also works for Rooted installations.


Where can I download the user guide for Avast Mobile Security?

You can get our manual for Avast Mobile Security on our product page.

The manual can be accessed directly here, give it a try - it's short and easy to understand!


Is it possible to do clean uninstallation and installation of Avast Mobile Security?

Yes, it is possible and it could solve some strange of mysterious problems. Clean uninstall means that the application left no data behind. To perform such an operaton, please go to the Application manager in your device, find Avast in downloaded ones, press 'Clear cache', then 'Clear data' and finally uninstall.


Why do I need to allow the installation of apps from “Unknown Sources” in order to install Anti-Theft?

Avast Anti-Theft as the only tool available worldwide allows installation of itself as a separate module using a name chosen by the user to hide the program from thieves. It is a great and unique feature, but since all of the installation packages need to be personalized for each user, we have to generate those packages on our servers and send it to the user’s phones for installation. Obviously in this case, the application source is not the Google Play store, and installation from “Unknown Sources” needs to be enabled to install Avast Anti-Theft. Rest assured, we do not want you to change your settings forever: the option to allow “Unknown Sources” only needs to be enabled during the installation phase, it can be disabled immediately after installation without causing any trouble, again securing the phone.Off course, you can always use the Update Agent application for installation of Anti-Theft; this method does not require any third party permissions.


When and why is Anti-Theft sending the SMS and what is the purpose

Whenever the user is registering to the Avast Account, mostly the first time, an announcement is shown:

This means, that Avast Anti-Theft is sending short message in this three cases:

  • The new SIM card is inserted into the device - it means, that the SIM card is not in trusted SIM list managed by Avast Anti-Theft and was not present in the device, when the account connect has been done. In case you are connecting to account and the SIM card is present, no SMS is sent, except the situation, when the SIM is brand new.

  • The untrusted SIM card is inserted into the device - it means, that inserted SIM card is not on your trusted list or has been deleted (e.g. by uninstalling the Avast Anti-Theft ).

  • Absolutely foreign SIM card is inserted into the device - e.g. in case of robbery or lost.


In the first case the Czech number is used for device information update on the account only when the SIM card is not available in the time of the installation or registration. This number is only SMS gateway and providing information about your device and saving them on your Avast account. Please mention, that you you can be invoiced for international SMS in this case.

All other cases are covering the possible robbery or lost situations; in this case the SMS will contain new IMEI, telephone number of the new SIM and the last location of the device. The service of sending such SMS is invoiced to present SIM card in the device in the moment of the sending. You can choose your friendly target numbers in remote control menu of Anti-Theft.
Please be carefull by changing the SIM cards and not having them in the trusted list. You can avoid to sending SMS in the first registration or conection to account by having SIM present during setup.

CAUTION: You can always turn the SMS sending option off, but in case of SIM card change your device should not be fully trackable.


What is the Avast Anti-Theft?

Avast Anti-Theft is a program extension included in Avast Mobile Security with lots of unique capabilities which can help you to recover your phone by controlling it remotely in the event that it gets lost or stolen.

First of all, you are able to choose a type of Anti-Theft installation. The reason for this is to divide the simple installation for non-rooted devices from advanced installation mode, which is targeted to rooted devices. The simple installation will download the package from our secured servers and install it to the device. After the installation you will be adviced to restart the device.In this case the Avast Anti-Theft application will be hidden, but you will not be able to use some features, which are accessible only on rooted devices.

Advanced mode will offer Rooted installation, where the user can choose the type and method, set own name and/or save the settings into protected part of the device via hard reset proof settings.

Avast Anti-Theft performs certain action automatically according to your configuration, but is also possible to use Avast Anti-Theft to control your phone remotely by SMS commands or via Avast Portal.


What is the PIN Recovery?

The PIN Recovery feature is the way, how to get access to your device in case you lost your or forgot your Avast PIN. You have to set it before in Settings or on the Avast Portal. When the PIN Recovery is set and you will use it, the feature will send a SMS to the set number and this will be your new Avast PIN. This one will be valid only for half an hour and after that period the Avast PIN will return to the original value. You can also set your new Avast PIN through Avast Portal.


What is the Site Correct?

This feature is cloud based and is listening to your browser address tab. Some malicious sites or malware is using misstypes or type errors for social engineering (e.g. can foist very similar page to the user, but it is not the page the user wanted), so this feature will propose you with the right site name in such a case. This feature can turned on and off by the user.


What the is Message Shield?

Message Shield enables scanning of incoming messages for malicious URLs or phishing. Also it can be used for filtering the messages from unknown users (like advertising and so on). In case the user wants to turn on blocking the messages from unknown people it is enough to tunr on the feature in message shield. Received SMS will be stored in SMS Blocker log.


What the is App Shield?

Application Shield provides the scan of the applications on two levels - on installation and on execution. The user can choose to turn on or off every one of it; there is count of scanned applications visible.


What is the File Shield?

The File Shield is feature which scans all artifacts beeing written or read from internal or external source (storage) in the device. As default the shield is turned on and set up for "scan files when writing",which means, that only files beeing written to the device will be scanned. e.g. you will downloading some files from foreign computer (library or public places) and some of the files will infected; normally, youhave to install them or use them in another application to find out the malware, but with the file shield they will be revealed just in time they are downloaded to your device.

CAUTION:
There is known problem with battery and CPU use in case the file shield is set up for "scan files when reading and writing"; new device are able to deal with it, but the older ones could experience some troubles with speed or battery life, especially when your traffic on files is huge (FTP, remote work or SSH connections, email attachments, etc.). Please be sure, that turning this optionon will bring more use than lost.


What is the Global log?

The Global log is new feature where you can see all the actions done by parts of Avast Mobile Security application. Of course you can select which items you want to see in the log - just check themand until you change it, the global log will display only selected ones. You can reach the log by swyping the screen to the left. All the events logged are stored on the device SD card, but the file has 500 lines maximum, so you should not worry about the place; actually the log is clearing itself - when 500 lines reached, last 100 lines are deleted.


What the is Network Meter?

Network Meter is tool for being able to see how many datas has been flow through your device. The status is renewed every 2 minutes, so there could be some battery consumption. Network Meter is logging all the applications, not only ones which are using data connection, including system applications, which could not be visible at the list, because the operating system will not allow to show them - but Network Meter is logging them. The user can disable Network Meter at 'Settings' section.


What is the Avast Portal?

The Avast Portal is web solution offering you an overview about your devices portfolio. In case you have the Avast Anti-Theft component installed, you can control your device remotely from the Avast Portal. For more information please visit our support pages or directly the Avast Portal page.


What is the Avast Virus Scanner?

Avast Mobile Security provides an automatic and on-demand virus scanner for Android devices which is capable of scanning all installed applications and memory card contents. There is also an on-access scanner which scans installed applications on their first execution. Virus definitions are updated automatically. The user can also update manually. The malware scan can be scheduled to run automatically once a day (on one or more days each week). When a malware is found, the system offers the user to uninstall the application or to delete the file. It is also possible to report a false-positive detection to our virus lab.


What is the Avast Web Shield?

As a part of the Avast WebRep cloud, the Avast Web Shield included in Avast Mobile Security scans each URL that loads and warns you if the browser loads a malware-infected URL.


What is the Avast Firewall?

The Avast Firewall included in Avast Mobile Security allows the user to disable internet access for an installed application. The restriction is configured per application as: enable/disable while on Wi-Fi, enable/disable while on 3G, enable/disable roaming data. Please be noted, that Avast Firewall only works on rooted devices running operating systems Android 2.2.x or higher. This is necessary because it's functionality depends on access to several system features which require root privileges. In case you are using ROM with modified Linux core please ensure, that the iptables are supported, otherwise recompile the kernel with this feature supported. All the applied rules are logged, but the user has to set the logging on. The log will be deleted with every change of rule.


What are firewall statuses?

The Avast Firewall statuses allow to the user decide, which method will be used for blocking the traffic.

The first one, called "Blacklist mode, will deny the access by preffered way (WiFi, 3G or roaming) only to selected applications and groups from the list. All the others will have full access to internet. Please mention, that some applications should be affected by blocking some parts of operating system or group of applications.

The second one, called "Allow selected" is reversed into first status - in this case you have to choose, which applications will have an access into internet, the rest will be blocked. This mode must be used carefully, otherwise you can experience malfunctions of other applications or whole operating system parts. So, if you are not sure what you are exactly doing, please use the first mode rather.

The firewall is able to block given IP address or given port or both - this can be found "Custom rules", so the user is able us own set of rules; firewall has an experimental IPv6 support, but is recommended to not turn in on if you are not very sure, that your kernel is ready for such settings; otherwise you can experience denial of using firewall on your device.


How to set the firewall to be able connect to Google Play?

At the first point is necessary to say that the best way how to use the firewall is in "Deny selected" mode. You can simply find the application which should be blocked and tap it. On the other hand it is understood that sometimes you should need block more apps than are allowed - in this case the "Allow selected" mode is better, but please consider the riscs - if you are not sure, how affected the rest of applications will be, please use the first method instead.

Now for allowing only access for Google Play store, you should allow Google Framework, DRM Manager, Package Installer, Market Updater, Download Manager, Media Server and Google Play. Not all of them could be accessible in your phone, because it depends on android version and ROM you are using, but more you find better.

Please pay attention to all the services running on your device and to settings the rules smart way.


What is the SMS and Call Filter?

SMS and Call Filter included in Avast Mobile Security let a user to block SMS text messages and/or voice calls from people in his contact list. The filtering is defined as a set of rules (groups of contacts) which have associated: a set of days in week, a starting time and an ending time. The rule is active (selected contacts are restricted) on selected days and within specified time range. If a call is blocked it is redirected to a voicemail. If an SMS is blocked it is stored in the SMS and Call Filter log. It is also possible to block outgoing calls. Unfortunatelly LG removes support for this feature from their phones, so we can assure the function on LG phones with Android 2.3.x and higher.

You can see the blocked calls and messages in the log, which is available from the basic screen of this feature. As a higher rule the user can set his own number (with "Custom number") by using the wildcards.


What is the Stealth Mode?

Within the Stealth Mode, Avast Anti-Theft is hidden from the Android App Launcher and cannot therefore be launched in the same way as other applications. This is very important because of thieves, which usually check stolen phones for applications that could unveil their identity. They look for application icons and will check the Application Manager. If the thief finds any trace of such an application, it is very likely that phone will be turned off, and will be subject to disposal. This usually results in the phone being lost forever.

The Stealth Mode is enabled automatically whenever you enable Avast Anti-Theft protection within its Basic Settings.


Is Avast Mobile Security able to protect me against all possible threats?

No. While we tried to do our best to protect your device against all possible threats, no solution is 100%. It is also important to realize that the product is a normal Android app, with all the limitations that the app model currently has. Therefore, it can hardly protect against exploits targeting specific vulnerabilities in the OS kernel, the network stack and similar low-level parts of the system, for example. This, however, applies to all products on the market, and it is up to us (the security industry) to work with the OS vendor to develop future solutions that will minimize the risks of getting attacked.


How to use SMS commands on Android 4.4 and above?

On Android version 4.4 and above, common text messages (SMS) are always delivered to the default SMS application and cannot be hidden by other applications, such as Avast Anti-Theft. The SMS commands delivered by common text messages will still work, but your Avast PIN will be visible on the target device. To still use the SMS commands to control your device in an invisible way, you need to use the SMS Remote Control tool provided inside the Avast Mobile Security accessible via dashboard item Anti-Theft. This tool will use a binary SMS format to communicate with the target device which is invisible to SMS applications so your Avast PIN will stay hidden while you can continue to control your device via SMS messaging service.


What is "rooting" on Android?

Rooting is a process allowing users of mobile phones, tablet PCs, and other devices running the Android operating system to attain privileged control (known as "root access") within the Android's system. Rooting is often performed with the goal of overcoming limitations that carriers and hardware manufacturers put on some devices, resulting in the ability to alter or replace system applications and settings, run specialized apps that require administrator-level permissions.

These root privileges are needed for a few options within Avast Mobile Security - like the firewall or the hard reset proof installation of Anti-Theft.

Please note that for most of the functionality within Avast Mobile Security or Avast Anti-Theft rooting is NOT required.

For more information about rooting please visit this page.

To find out how to root your device, please perform an internet search:

  • «your device» root xda

You'll find good step-by-step-rooting-guides within the XDA developer's forum. Be aware that you will lose your warranty if you root the device.


Some features of the product are "root-only". Does it mean that I need to root my phone to use your product?

No, of course not! While it is true that some features of Avast Mobile Security do require "root" access, Avast Mobile Security works great on non-rooted phones. In fact, from the security point of view, rooting your phone is a bad idea and we recommend against doing so. On the other hand, we consider owners of rooted phones experts and high-risk users, and that is why we are putting more features into Avast Mobile Security to provide additional protection for these users.

It is incorrect to say, that the number of features of Avast Mobile Security available on non-rooted phones is very limited. In fact, the feature set is broader than in most competing products (including paid products). For example, we think that many features of the Avast Anti-Theft component are truly unique, including those that work on all phones (including non-rooted phones).

The only exception is the Avast Firewall, which is a handy tool that allows you to control network access on a per-app basis. This can be useful for multiple reasons: security, convenience (think online ads) and even battery life (use of the network is a big battery eater). Unfortunately, Avast Firewall is only available on rooted phones. The reason for that is that the limitations of the Android platform did not allow us to implement it for non-rooted phones (even though we would love to).


I rooted my phone. How can I convert the Avast Anti-Theft installation to a rooted installation?

Please un- and reinstall Avast Anti-Theft choosing the Rooted installation mode.


Why I cannot use the Avast Firewall without the root access?

Unfortunately Avast Firewall included in Avast Mobile Security is possible to use only on rooted phones running operating systems Android 2.2.x or higher, because its functionality depends on access to several system features which requires root privileges. Limitations of the Android platform did not allow us to implement it for non-rooted phones (even though we would love to).


Why does Avast Mobile Security need all of those permissions?

For example, why would a security application like Avast Mobile Security need the "Directly call phone numbers" permission?

To understand that, it's necessary to realize that the permission system in Android is bit coarse. What I mean by this is that in Android, permissions control which API groups can be used by the application. In the specific case of the "Directly call phone numbers" permission, it's not that Avast Mobile Security make any phone calls. But in order to implement the Call filter functionality, it relies on some APIs that require this permission. Similarly, receiving of SMS is required for the Anti-Theft component to work. Full internet access is required for the Definition Updates to work. Reading of phone data is required for Virus Scanner and the Web Shield. And so on...

For more information please read the following article:

Trust us, we are taking your privacy very seriously. The permissions required by the Avast Mobile Security are the minimum set that was needed to implement the functionality.


For what is the Avast PIN used in Avast Anti-Theft?

The Avast PIN is used to authorize access to the Avast Anti-Theft configuration interface. Because Avast Anti-Theft is invisible in Stealth Mode, and it is not possible to start its configuration interface in the usual way, it can be started by calling the Avast PIN.

The standard Avast PIN is 0000 and you have to change it in the Basic Settings before you are allowed to activate the Avast Anti-Theft system. If your Avast PIN is set to for example 2222, just make a call to 2222. The call will be cancelled immediately without any cost to you and the Avast Anti-Theft configuration interface will start up immediately. Avast Anti-Theft also takes care that no trace of the dialed Avast Password is left in the phone's call logs by removing that call log entries immediately after the dialing process.

You can also use Avast Portal for calling the Anti-Theft control screen.


I've forgot my Avast PIN? What can I do?

Avast Mobile Security / Anti-Theft doesn't send the Avast PIN to our servers and there is no master key for security reasons.

If you forgot your Avast PIN, please use your PIN Recovery tool. In case you did not set it before, you can try to uninstall Avast Mobile Security. In case you have Avast Anti-Theft also installed, you may experience Avast PIN dialog after reinstalling the Avast Mobile Security. This is for security reasons.


Why can the Avast PIN only consist of digits?

Once you have Avast Anti-Theft disguised, you need to be able to call the Avast PIN as a phone number in order to open the application. Of course the phone application only accepts numbers and this is the reason why we stick with digits.


Invisibility does not work. Why can I still see the AVAST app?

If you see the Avast icon within your App Tray after switching Anti-Theft to Stealth Mode, this is completely normal. The item you see in the app tray does not belong to Avast Anti-Theft but to Avast Mobile Security.

Only Anti-Theft goes invisible. The Mobile Security part is intended to stay visible because the nature of the security solution requires communication with the owner.

However, if you only want to use the invisible Avast Anti-Theft part of the suite, you can uninstall Avast Mobile Security and keep using Anti-Theft. This is possible because Free Mobile Security an Anti-Theft are installed as separate modules.


Can I control my Anti-Theft installation from using the internet?

Yes, it is possible via Avast Portal, but first you have to pair your device to existing account How to pair your device to the account - just open the 'Settings" section and tap on the "Avast Account". The wizard will lead through the registration (if you do not have an account already) or pairing process (in case you already have an account). For more information please see our support pages.


I do not want to install Avast Mobile Security because it will drain my battery.

Avast Mobile Security is designed to have minimal (or no) impact on battery life. In fact, when designing any of the features, one of the principal questions we asked was "How do I architect the feature to have no impact on battery?"

All services by Avast Mobile Security are taking about 5% from all of battery consumption maximally (e.g. the Launcher can take about 15% and the GMail about 8%). Sometimes, like SD card formatting or doing wipe, scan or operation which require any CPU time, Avast Mobile Security can reach at maximum 20% of battery use at the peak 30-60 sec. If you have such experience about draining the battery, please try to turn off the Network Meter or contact our support.

We are not going to present the exact results of that test though as we understand that your mileage may vary. Instead, we are talking to a couple of independent, respectable testing organizations that could conduct a professional test and present the results in a more official way (e.g. in printed magazines and their associated online sites).


Why does Avast Mobile Security report different malware detections than Avast 7.x for the desktop computers?

The detections of the mobile and desktop versions of Avast are generally different as the mobile product only cares about mobile malware (you don't want to run the full virus database on your little device). The Avast Mobile Security does scan web pages (i.e. can block URLs). The mobile Web Shield is primarily only about phishing URLs.


Why do you warn "Incompatible SMS tool found"?

Some apps, like GO SMS Pro or Handcent SMS, take the highest SMS reception priority in the system although Google recommends not to do this. Therefore these apps catch incoming SMS before Avast Anti-Theft can check it for commands. This conflict will very likely cause your Avast Anti-Theft installation to malfunction. This is a serious security risk for our customers.

For the moment we can only recommend to uninstall these apps - and to contact their developers asking for improvement. You can also check our forums at forum.avast.com to find discussions about this topic or contact us at the support page to inform us if you think we display a false positive.

There is also some SMS tools that are officially supported by Avast Anti-Theft:

  • Chomp SMS

  • Mighty Text


I love your software! Can I support you somehow?

Yes, that would be great! We would really appreciate you:

  • Writing a positive review on Google Play (Android Market), just click here to go to our app page there

  • Telling your friends about our software.

  • Posting reviews in Android related forums.


I always get an error in Google Play when trying to start my payment for Avast Mobile Security. How can complete my payment?

If you get an error message "There was an error retrieving server information [RPC:S-7:AEC-0]" or you are stuck when trying to start your payment for Avast Mobile Security, please follow these steps:

  1. Go to your device's 'Settings', select 'Application', then 'Google Play Store' and tap on 'Clear Data' and 'Clear Cache'.

  2. Go to your device's 'Settings', select 'Accounts', then 'Google', choose an account and tap on 'Remove account'.

  3. Reboot your device.

  4. Go to your device's 'Settings', select 'Accounts', then 'Google', tap on 'Log In' to login to your account.

Notes:
If the steps above are not successful, please also check that:

  • You are using the latest version of Google Play.

  • Your credit card information on the file is updated to your new expiration date and all information is correctly updated. On a computer (not tablet or phone), you can also sign into your Google Wallet via 'Edit' option in the 'Payment Methods to review your information.

..otherwise, contact Google Wallet support.


I was charged twice/I paid twice for Avast Mobile Security. What can I do?

If you accidentally paid twice, please contact AVAST Support team.

If you think you have been charged twice, please make sure that the second charge is not an authorization. Authorizations occur between Google's billing system and your bank's billing system to ensure that the card is valid and the necessary funds are available in your account before the order is charged. If the order has been cancelled, the pending authorization will not result in a charge.

You may also notice a $1.00 transaction from Google, which is actually a pending authorization request between Google's billing system and the bank that issued your credit or debit card, so you won't end up paying the extra $1.00. For more details please read the following article on Google website:

My Google Wallet payment for Avast Mobile Security was declined. Why?

If your payment was declined, you should have received an e-mail stating why your payment was declined. Please contact Google Support for more information about troubleshooting payments.


I've paid, but Avast Mobile Security still does not work. How can I get it to work?

Please be patient and restart your device. It can sometimes take a little while for Avast Mobile Security to register your payment, especially if you used PayPal.

If your Avast Mobile Security is still not activated, make sure that your payment was not cancelled. If you were charged, but it still does not work after a day, please contact AVAST Support team with your receipt and phone number.


Conditions

Avast Mobile Security

Operating systems:


Android 4.x
Android 3.x
Android 2.3.x
Android 2.2.x
Android 2.1.x

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