Using antivirus on Android phone really helps or not.
A couple of weeks ago I explained why you should not install RAM and battery optimizer on an Android smartphone. In some of the comments you posted also mentioned antivirus as a problem for the performance of the device, but is it really necessary to install an antivirus on Android?
In this article, I am going to explain the reasons why it is not advisable to do it, although the companies behind these products do not stop to perjurers that are something obligatory (logical if you commercialize it). And is that, despite the bad reputation that was created in its beginnings, Android is one of the safest operating systems today.
You may also interested to read: Top 11 antivirus apps for android devices.
Statistics say Android is secure
But does malware or phishing affect you equally? Yes, Android is no exception and is at risk of being infected, but the probability is really low. And the more up-to-date the mobile phone or tablet is.
In the latest Android security report, Google reported that only 0.15% of users who downloaded apps from the Google Play Store became infected in 2015. The percentage increases to 0.50% for people who installed apps out of the official store, still being a really small figure for the number of Android phones and tablets worldwide.
Each year it is harder to get malware directly from Google Play: data collection dropped by over 40% to 0.08, spyware dropped by 60% to 0.02% of applications and hostile downloads decreased by 50% to 0.01%. The data contrasts directly with the facilities outside the Google store, being higher and increasing up to 2.60% in specific cases.
For Android to be more secure, Google checks 6 billion apps daily and scans more than 400 million handsets for malware-infected apps. In addition, the Mountain View company has doubled the application verified, letting us know if we can risk it, and posting monthly security patches to cover all kinds of vulnerabilities.
So if you’re like most consumers who download their apps from the Play Store (or official repositories like the Amazon store) there’s virtually no risk of getting infected. In contrast, if you install APK from external sites the probability is higher, but without being much less worrying. In fact, Google by default blocks Android access to apps with ‘Unknown Origins’, and lets the user take the risk of doing so.
There is more exposure to adware, advertising platforms that are installed behind other approved apps, and you experience the non-managed ad usage. In addition, antiviruses do not usually detect them as a danger, so they are not effective against them. SpeedCharge and BoostCharge have appeared this month, but they should not last too long.
So what good is an antivirus?
Taking advantage of its leading position in the market for Windows PCs, a multitude of companies focused on computer security such as AVG, Avast, Avira or Norton have developed their own antivirus suites for Android. Although these programs copy the tops of Google Play, they are in most cases useless.
How do they work? Basically, they are dedicated to analyzing every application or file downloaded in our device, detecting if it includes malicious code or not. But in Android, in order to be infected, you must manually execute the infected application; you can not do it alone, by itself. Therefore, the chances of being exposed to this type of risk are minimized.
In order to perform this function, the antivirus forces to have services in the background that eat a significant amount of RAM, so if your smartphone or tablet is 1 GB or less, you will suffer from important lags. Even so, and like RAM optimizer, in general, they consume a lot of resources that, for example, will prevent you from having more apps open in multitasking. Antivirus greatly damages the performance of your Android and has more disadvantages than advantages.
Above all, almost no antivirus incorporates this feature exclusively, but on top has integrated dozens of optimizer and “miracle functions” to accelerate your terminal, being the total ballast.
Your great ally: common sense
The best way to avoid getting any malware on Android is common sense. If you have given permission to install programs outside the Play Store from the Settings, watch what you install on it. Everything that goes down automatically after opening a page full of advertising, APK free of payment applications in many cases or “magic tools” (like spying the WhatsApp of someone from your mobile) are a hotbed of malware, so The best thing you can do is ignore all those ads.
But as I explained before, the Play Store does not get rid of these problems because of the low percentage of affected. How to combat it? Watch the permissions that the apps ask you to download. It is extremely suspicious that a flashlight application asks you for permission to send SMS or make calls. So try another one that does not have those accesses or, if you have Marshmallow, block all those that you consider unnecessary from the permissions control panel itself.
And I do not just say it myself. Adrian Ludwig, Google’s chief security officer for Android, said during an interview on Google I / O 2014 that “I do not think 99% of users need the benefit of an antivirus. If I needed extra protection because of my work, it would make sense to do so. But does the average Android user need to install an antivirus? Absolutely not.
Therefore, and unless you see it strictly necessary, it is not recommended to install an antivirus on Android. The disadvantages are more numerous than the benefits, and in the vast majority of cases does not compensate for the loss of performance. In the event that you need localization or backup tools that come integrated into the antivirus, it is better to install an application dedicated exclusively to it.
Do you use any antivirus in your terminal? Are you for or against them?
In TopAndroidStuff | How to fix crashing apps on Android Phone and Tablet.