1 2 Previous Next 16 Replies Latest reply: Apr 19, 2012 12:56 PM by supermanx5 RSS

Do I need anti-virus for Android?

I'm starting to see a lot of products claiming to be anti-virus protection for your Android. In the early days (2009!) of Android, I would have laughed this off. But now it is getting pretty widespread, and used by plenty of clueless people, not just savvy geeks. So I'm wondering if Android has become a target for malware, spyware, etc., and if some sort of protection is now a good idea.

 

Does anyone know? Is malware a significant threat to Android devices?........Jake

  • 1. Re: Do I need anti-virus for Android?
    gramps28

    I've read that you need an AV and that you don't

    need it but with Android being open source and so many

    apps being out there I installed AVG on my Sensation

    and Amaze just in case. I don't know if it helps but it hasn't

    hurt.

  • 2. Re: Do I need anti-virus for Android?
    darnell

    Keep laughing and save your money.

     

    Only load trusted apps and you'll be fine.

  • 3. Re: Do I need anti-virus for Android?

    Thanks, guys. I've read opinions on both sides of the issue, too. I was hoping someone had some actual facts or actual experiences to share......Jake

  • 4. Re: Do I need anti-virus for Android?
    darnell

    Fact, last time there was a real "virus" issue with some apps, Google reached directly into phones and uninstalled the apps themselves.

     

    Stick with trusted apps that have a long track record of a good reputation and you'll be fine.

  • 5. Re: Do I need anti-virus for Android?

    That's a cool fact. Thanks.

  • 6. Re: Do I need anti-virus for Android?

    Being that the Android OS is open source. I personally would still get an antivirus for it. I'm sure you know what open source means but incase you don't, Open source basically means that Android is a free OS and it's source code can be modified by anyone who knows such code. Though I'm not saying Android is infested with viruses I will say this, the probability of your phone being infected is higher than that of most other OS. Now while most of the infections on record have come from apps in the Android Market there still is a high chance of getting malware by simple browsing. The web browsers on phones aren't that different from your computer browser. They still use cookies and have to download information first before displaying the page. While no cases have been reported of malware being spread thru mobilewebsites or any of the sort, yet, given android's Open source nature makes it a perfect target for such modes of infection. The point is this while people will say "don't waste your money stick with trusted apps"  the very fact that Android is open source makes you an easy target. Also google removed the "infected apps" from people's phones... after the fact. There is some serious down play regarding the fact that only phone's serial numbers where stolen. A serial number on a phone can be used in many ways to tap,track or monitor use. So don't take your chances the fact is while most people who use Android phones consider themselves to be "savvy" most aren't and most aren't aware of the risks. If your are trully concerned about your information being stolen its better to be preventative then regret it later.

  • 7. Re: Do I need anti-virus for Android?
    darnell

    I won't even begin to lay out my full technical education and working experience here.  But I will say it's a long enough résumé to never make such an under informed statement as was just made.

     

    Open source does not mean there will be more security holes.  The collective efforts ensure more bugs are sniffed out and patches produced more quickly.  When we consider the history of viruses with Windows servers versus Linux, the argument above faultily asserts that Linux loses.  However the fact is the the Open Source Linux OS is the one that is more secure.  The collective efforts all have a high concern for security of their efforts.  Also, although the Android OS is Open Source, what we get on our devices, that code is not immediately made open to the public.  The OEMs release that code months later, anyone who was truly "savvy" about this industry would know that.

     

    Android antivirus apps are useless, here’s what to do instead

     

    (Looking at their past posts, I don't even think hernandez215 owns an Android device.  Looks like they roll WP.  So I have my doubts they speak from any level of present experience with Android.)

  • 8. Re: Do I need anti-virus for Android?

    @ darnell, I'm sorry if I insulted you in any way. Yet I'm merely responding to questions regarding Viruses on Phones OS. I'm in no way activily selecting Android and "bashing them". I'll admit I have time today, its my day off and I have nothing better to do and since I just joined these support forums I figured I'd answer some questions. I have remained factual thru-out my statements and have not presented any vias. I will not get into an argument between Linux and Windows as the argument itself is tired and old. We all the know the pro's and con's of both OS.

     

    "Of course, Linux also gets attacked less frequently by viruses and malware, and vulnerabilities tend be found and fixed more quickly by its legions of developers and users." Goes back to the fact that all OS can be infected by Malware. Yes, Linux is fairly secure and its opensource nature makes it so but patches and bug-fixes require current users to update frequently and if you have already been infected it is too late.

     

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57379394-83/malware-loves-android-but-ios-users-could-be-at-risk-too/ Note: This is about IOS and Android. It simply proves my point. 

  • 9. Re: Do I need anti-virus for Android?
    darnell

    The question is does the OP need anti-virus software for Android?  The answer is no.  You've incorrectly implied that because the Android browser accepts cookies, that somehow means all Android devices are at risk of a virus that has never yet been developed.  Fact is, that issues with Android come via applications that are installed, especially when they physically enable a setting to side load apps, the device owner is able to see fully what rights that application wants to use before installing it and they install anyway.  This is not an issue of visiting a certain web page and suddenly you're infected, that's not how Android works and it is not comparable to Windows.  You may want to stop for a moment and read the full article and a little of the research study it cited.

     

    On my Windows PC, I just had to install well over 10 patches and there are always so many Microsoft has to roll them out in monthly batches.  So it's certainly requiring a heck of a lot of frequent updates.  And the article you cited only proves iOS is not a safe haven.

     

    You are speaking off the cuff about an OS you apparently have no current actual experience using as a daily driver.

  • 10. Re: Do I need anti-virus for Android?

    "Though I'm not saying Android is infested with viruses I will say this, the probability of your phone being infected is higher than that of most other OS. Now while most of the infections on record have come from apps in the Android Market there still is a high chance of getting malware by simple browsing. The web browsers on phones aren't that different from your computer browser. They still use cookies and have to download information first before displaying the page. While no cases have been reported of malware being spread thru mobilewebsites or any of the sort, yet, given android's Open source nature makes it a perfect target for such modes of infection."

     

    I'm inclined to believe you are product of the failed education system. Your reading comprehension is subpar. Please leave me alone I didn't come here to pick a fight with people online.

  • 11. Re: Do I need anti-virus for Android?
    theartiszan

    I would also say anti virus on Android is not required. And might slow the phone down a little especially when installing programs. As long as you are installing applications only from market you are fine.

     

  • 12. Re: Do I need anti-virus for Android?
    darnell

    hernandez215, you've hit rock bottom.  You repeat the totally incorrect notion that Android will get a virus through the browser due to it accepting cookies, despite it NEVER happening.  You claim a high probability of a virus and "most" come from malware.  Fact is ALL have come from malware and that is how it happens, due to the design of Android.  Someone who never downloads apps has zero need for concern and someone who downloads apps needs to use trusted sources and review the requested app permissions prior to installation.  And not allowing side loading of apps also increases security, which is a setting that the user must change manually.

     

    You are left with no fact or proof, so you resort to personal attacks.

  • 13. Re: Do I need anti-virus for Android?
    gandecab

    you don't get viruses or mailware on a PC from cookies either.  On a PC, there are holes in the OS, browser or plugins which allow for malicious code to be run as admin on the PC without your knowledge.

     

    This does not happen in Android as each process runs in it's own sandbox. To do additional actions, you will get a popup warning you about this (like installing an app).  If you choose to ignore the warnings, then it's your own fault for putting a virus on your phone, not by something that happened without your knowledge.

     

    Some people may find they need an antivirus to protect them from thier own negligence. not that there is anything wrong with that

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