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Do Android Devices Need Antivirus Software?

  • January 23, 2019

By now, we’re sure that you’re already familiar with the countless different types of software and methods crooks use to compromise your data. From malware that has the potential to encrypt your data leaving it completely useless, to hackers living off of private and confidential data of unsuspecting users, it’s truly no surprise that keeping your systems secure is more important than ever.

Do Android Devices Need Antivirus Software

And while we already know how important it is to download the latest antivirus software or resort to online virus scanners to get the job done, not enough people know what exactly is the most viable and promising course of action when it comes to the security of their Android devices.

Wondering how you can protect your Android devices from malware and viruses? Not sure if downloading antivirus software is your best bet? Looking for the best ways to keep the files and data on your Android devices safe and far from the reach of imposters and fraudsters?

Read on to find out everything you need to know about antivirus software for Android devices.

Which Threats to Android Devices Should You Be Concerned About?

Much like computer systems, Android devices can be affected by numerous different types of malware and viruses. As always, these variations of malicious software can affect Android devices in a number of different ways, and can be used for a multitude of purposes from data theft to making data unreadable or inaccessible.

Expert Quote

steve

“Whether it is Windows, Android, macOS, or iOS, some length of security is constantly required. Viruses, malware, and botnets are a daily security problem always looking to damage your device.”

Steve Ongaro

Cyber-Security and VPN Expert

And since we know that you’ve probably started scrutinizing your own Android phone or tablet for signs of malware infection and are wondering how malware makes its way into Android devices, we’ll let you in on that information too.

Like malicious software that affects computer systems, malware and viruses can enter your Android devices through many routes:

Attachments

Like malware that affects computer systems, viruses and malicious software can also enter your Android devices through email attachments. What this means is that you need to be extremely cautious not only when downloading email attachments sent by unknown contacts, but also when downloading suspicious attachments from your own contacts.

This is because the risk of a contact having their email account hacked is too real for you to be careless enough to download any attachment without inspection.

Additionally, while most people may argue that email service providers these days come with online virus scanners, it is still important to exercise due diligence and take preventive measures to protect the safety of the files and personal data on your Android devices.

Message displayed to prompt download of malicious software -

Piggybacking

Malware and viruses are known to come as part of the package with quite a large number of programs and software available online. This particularly holds true for software that is free or can be downloaded from peer to peer networking sites.

Google itself is known to have removed as many as 700 thousand different malicious software from its Play Store in 2017 alone – a number that was about

70% more than the number of malicious software and programs that were removed in the previous year.

Android holding two connecting cables

Infected Devices

Just like it is possible for a computer system to get infected through a USB drive or any other type of device that contained a virus or any other type of malicious software, your Android device, too, can get infected if it is attached to another device or system that already hosts malware. For this reason, it is important to only connect your Android devices to systems and other devices that are trusted and free from any potential threats.

Now that you’re aware of the different ways in which malware can enter and start affecting your Android devices, you’re probably even more concerned about the safety of your phones and tablets. However, you’ll be glad to know that the former Chief Security Engineer for Android, Adrian Lugwig, has stated that the average Android user is not required to download antivirus software for Android to keep their devices safe.

Even though most people question the accuracy of this statement even though it comes from a Google employee, the fact remains that there are plenty of other things that you can do besides downloading antivirus for Android that can protect your devices from threats.

While quite a number of software posing as antivirus for Android are fake, even the ones that do work are not effective enough to remove all of the malware or viruses from Android devices. As a result, the Android device on which the antivirus software has been installed not only becomes extremely slow due to the constant processing of the software, but the ineffective antivirus also consumes most of the space of the device. This leaves users unable to download programs and software that they actually need.

In the next section, we’ll be talking all about what you should be doing in order to protect your Android devices from potential threats.

Tips to Protect Android Devices without Antivirus Software

The majority of Android devices are infected simply because users are not cautious enough with their phones and tablets. Users of Android phones and tablets do not only download all kinds of software and programs without checking them for authenticity, but some users also tend to leave their Bluetooth on and visible for all devices to see increasing the risk of being affected by malicious software and viruses.

Here are some tips that you should follow to keep your Android devices safe from the threat of viruses and malicious software:

Go Through App Permission and Reviews

Go Through App Permission and Reviews

Since most platforms that have programs and software up for download also have a section for user reviews, it’s important for Android users to read the reviews of past customers. While certain paid reviews might have been put up even for the worst of software, it’s true that you can usually get a pretty good idea of the software or program in question and what can be expected of it.

When going through user reviews, you will most likely be able to find out whether or not the program or software in question slows down the device or leaves it displaying any other signs of malware of virus infection.

Android shopping

It is also extremely important for you to read through the permissions that the application is requesting. If anything looks out of the ordinary, you are advised to trust your gut feeling and halt the installation or download of the application. This is because granting more permissions than needed can result in theft of information or remote access to the Android phone or tablet on which the program or software has been installed.

Download From Trusted Sources

Unlike iOS devices that have to use iTunes for all sorts of downloading and installation, Android users are free to download software and programs from a variety of sources. While this is seen as an advantage, not being cautious enough in this regard can leave your Android device infected.

Instead of downloading your favorite music, files, and software from the first source you find them on, it is imperative for you to exercise diligence and only download from trusted sources such as the Play Store.

While it is possible for you to mistakenly download malicious software even from these sources, the chances of doing so are bleak especially if you are going through app permissions, reviews, and checking the information of the developer or creator before you click the download button.

Keep Your Operating System Updated

Just like downloading the latest updates and patches for the operating system of your computer is extremely important, it is also crucial for you to keep the operating system of your Android device updated. Since operating systems are constantly being updated for efficiency and to keep them safe from threats, it is important to download the latest updates to ensure that your Android devices is capable of fighting against all threats and risks without installing additional software that may or may not work.

Now that you know what needs to be done to protect your Android devices, we recommend that you start being more cautious with the programs and software you download to ensure that you don’t lose access to important files and data present on your phone.

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