Forum Thread

Does Android need anti virus?

thehighroller 486 30 September 13, 2015 at 01:39 PM
I know that Android is more secure than windows, specially I install only apps from play store and I don't root my phone. But the problem is that my phone never get any os update because of my carrier, it means that my phone is in danger of all the security faults that I read in this past year. Windows at least download all their security update automatically.

Should I install Android anti virus?

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#2
I would at least at some min level. I know many feel it is unnecessary, but it really can't hurt. If you do financial stuff on your phone, I would also recommend getting a VPN service.
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#3
Quote from YanksIn2009 View Post :
I would at least at some min level. I know many feel it is unnecessary, but it really can't hurt. If you do financial stuff on your phone, I would also recommend getting a VPN service.
Well, I wouldn't go so far as to say it can't hurt. The thing has to run on your phone, so depending on the features it uses and how well they're written it could hurt performance or battery life. On top of that, AV programs run with a necessarily large set of permissions and automatically analyze every file sent to the phone. This is a very real attack vector (For example: http://googleprojectzero.blogspot...-eset.html targets PC, but the same concept could just as easily target an Android AV). That's not saying they do hurt, just that they can Smilie

If you don't install third party apps and install only from the play store, I think the risk of running AV is higher than the risk of not running AV. If you install third party apps, and particularly if you install third party apps from shady sources, that might tip the scales.
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#4
Quote from quotidian View Post :
Well, I wouldn't go so far as to say it can't hurt. The thing has to run on your phone, so depending on the features it uses and how well they're written it could hurt performance or battery life. On top of that, AV programs run with a necessarily large set of permissions and automatically analyze every file sent to the phone. This is a very real attack vector (For example: http://googleprojectzero.blogspot...-eset.html targets PC, but the same concept could just as easily target an Android AV). That's not saying they do hurt, just that they can Smilie

If you don't install third party apps and install only from the play store, I think the risk of running AV is higher than the risk of not running AV. If you install third party apps, and particularly if you install third party apps from shady sources, that might tip the scales.

There are a number of reliable AV vendors for mobile including Norton. And Verizon for one installs its own virus scanner on its phones\devices by default. And the amount of data being transferred to a mobile device is usually far less than what you would see on laptops\desktops.

A crummy AV program can hog resources and slow you down, but no one is suggesting anyone run a crummy one and installing such is no more an attack vector than anything else you install on any OS and you certainly would not recommend someone running Windows without AV protection. Granted the threat on a phone is far less, but one can go to malicious sites using the mobile browser just as easily as the desktop one so a level of protection is prudent imo.
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#5
I'd be very attentive to the apps in the Google Play Store. As long as you do your homework, read app reviews, pay attention to the maker of the app, and complaints of the app, you should be all set. Any AV app in general on Android has been known to hog up resources even in a device which features 2GB or more RAM.
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#6
I use 360 Security and love it. Has many nice features.
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#7
Android certainly needs some kind of antivirus now sadly. There are a number of exploits recently that are not going to get patched anytime soon.

Verizon, Lookout or the other major AV makers would do well. I dislike the need of additional processing overhead on my phone slowing it down and eating battery but Android has grown popular enough that it is starting to have Windows sized virus problems.
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#8
I don't run one and am not concerned with it. I don't download unofficial apps, and don't install tons of random apps either, my device is new enough it gets patched (Slowly), and I don't want the extra resource drain. I question how much they are actually able to protect you from some exploits. While there have been a ton of noise made about recent android exploits they are usually overblown or misunderstood. While there is a threat for the majority of people it's not that great at the time.
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#9
I appreciate the fact Android updates usually comprise of security patches
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#10
Quote from YanksIn2009 View Post :
There are a number of reliable AV vendors for mobile including Norton. And Verizon for one installs its own virus scanner on its phones\devices by default. And the amount of data being transferred to a mobile device is usually far less than what you would see on laptops\desktops.

A crummy AV program can hog resources and slow you down, but no one is suggesting anyone run a crummy one and installing such is no more an attack vector than anything else you install on any OS and you certainly would not recommend someone running Windows without AV protection. Granted the threat on a phone is far less, but one can go to malicious sites using the mobile browser just as easily as the desktop one so a level of protection is prudent imo.
And Kaspersky falls: http://googleprojectzero.blogspot...blems.html.
Quote :
We have strong evidence that an active black market trade in antivirus exploits exists. Research shows that it's an easily accessible attack surface that dramatically increases exposure to targeted attacks.
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I'm still not recommending anyone ditch Windows AV, but treating AV as an additional large attack vector is pretty much a given at this point. You aren't specifically being targeted by attackers, and so the resistance to passive attacks generally still outweighs the additional attack surface of an AV, but that calculation isn't the same for everyone.
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