Does Android device need Antivirus app?

  • Yes

    Votes: 40 58.8%
  • No

    Votes: 28 41.2%
  • Total voters
    68
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cyberfort

Level 2
Yes it does,
  1. As you know, we keep hearing news about how a App on playstore has infected so many users.
  2. There is a reason google developed , play protect for playstore and SafetyNet API because malwares were capable of rooting devices , and for same reason manufacturer's now lock the Bootloader of phones.
  3. sometimes manufacturers bundle your phone with spywares .
I will also suggest you to use some good permission manager and firewall if your phone manufacturer does not provide it
 

Spawn

Administrator
Verified
Staff member
Yes and no.
Only use reputable and well-known developers, for example, Bitdefender, Kaspersky, Dr. Web.

Currently I use Bitdefender Free for Android, which provides basic AV protection without hogging resources or asking for payment. You don't need to Buy Security for Android!! (*cough Malwarbytes*)

@Deletedmessiah - Anyone can be a moron, so I wouldn't exclude "categories of people" based on the sites they use.

Basic tips:
  • I recommend using at least Android 6 (Marshmallow) or higher.
  • Keep Unknown Sources disabled.
  • Avoid PIRATED APKs, these are more than likely to Contain Miners, Unwanted Ads, or Malware.
  • Avoid shady 3rd Party App stores.
  • However, if you are downloading an APK from outside the Google Play Store, stay to sites you know and trust, or look at FOSS (Free and Open-Source) App stores. Once installed APK, disable Unknown Sources for good measure.

There are steps to further increase privacy, but I won't go into it. Most advice is ignored, and don't want to waste time by repeating myself.

Ignoring the basics puts your Privacy, Security and ID at Risk, and potentially other users.
 

gery79

Level 7
Verified
that is a 1 million dollar question and many people answer for cheap . One question i have though . Why do companies like Norton or Kaspersky McAfee Trend Micro suggest you need one? why would they even bother in making one beside the fact that it craves in money? I have used one and even bought one many times .... almost all the big ones from Avira to Bitdefender , McAfee , Avast, AVG Dr Web etc
 

uninfected1

Level 10
Verified
Yes and no.
Only use reputable and well-known developers, for example, Bitdefender, Kaspersky, Dr. Web.
.
Pretty much my thoughts too. And I'm sure many of us have read reports of the deficiencies of Google Play Protect, so I'm all for a second opinion scanner. I would also avoid AVs with performance/battery optimizers, cleaners etc, and those full of ads (rules Avast out for me).

Unfortunately for me Bitdefender was anything but light. If it has to be free I would suggest either the super-light ESET, or if you want web protection and automatic updates, the slightly heavier Sophos Mobile Security - fully featured and with no ads, and way lighter for me than Avast and even Bitdefender

I would also suggest having a look at any apps with potentially privacy/security critical permissions to see if they really are required. Sophos and ESET both have a module alerting the user to such permissions.

And as you say, be very careful with regard to apps not originating from Google Play Store.The only one I have installed is Adguard.
 

Spawn

Administrator
Verified
Staff member
Yes and no.
Just to clarify, I voted Yes for the poll question (Does an Android device need an Antivirus app?).

Why? While Microsoft and Apple have their own backend security services for their eco-system, Google is the only one that allows these "Antivirus" security apps on the official Google Play Store, whereas on non-existent W10M and ever-popular iOS, they are not.

I would also avoid AVs with performance/battery optimizers, cleaners etc, and those full of ads (rules Avast out for me).
Yes, I am beginning to dislike Avast (& poor AVG), more and more. They have already ruined CCleaner (Android), which is identical to their own crADp app, and soon will destroy CCleaner (Windows/Mac) by pushing their other Avast services; VPN, Anti-Track Premium etc. into the existing CCleaner userbase. Hundreds of millions of Windows/Android/Mac users will be using Avast products. $$$.

Unfortunately for me Bitdefender was anything but light. If it has to be free I would suggest either the super-light ESET, or if you want web protection and automatic updates, the slightly heavier Sophos Mobile Security - fully featured and with no ads, and way lighter for me than Avast and even Bitdefender
Which Bitdefender app did you use (Free or Paid)? What was the Battery and CPU usage like? What Android / SoC?

Did not know about ESET offered Free Antivirus for Android, will check it out soon.
 

uninfected1

Level 10
Verified
Which Bitdefender app did you use (Free or Paid)? What was the Battery and CPU usage like?
Admittedly it was the paid version but I want web protection and I don't think the free version has it. I also seem to recall Bitdefender free has ads so no good for me. Battery for the paid version averaged around 4% and memory around 200 MB.

Sophos averaged around 2% battery and memory about 120MB, but ESET paid is the lightest of all the fully featured AVs I've tried (the free version is even lighter) and averages 1-2% battery and about 65MB memory. I'm only using it because I've got some free keys. If not I would be perfectly happy with Sophos.
 
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Slyguy

Level 43
Yes and maybe no under limited conditions.

If you only install a few F-Droid Apps, then forgo the AV, since you are basically running a linux client with distro. But you are still placing implicit trust in your phone vendor not to mess with you whereas you know Ubuntu won't install junkware (generally speaking) in the background on an update. So MAYBE if you are careful.

If you use the play store, a wide range of apps, then the answer would be yes IMO.

Also, AV's often have very nice added features. Web Scanning, Application Lock, Application Privacy Scanning, whatever. Those features are handy and worth it.
 

dinosaur07

Level 9
Verified
In my opinion, no. Basically, if you're just downloading trusted apps from the Play Store, read reviews and permissions, you shouldn't have any problems with malware.

In fact, yes, you would need an AV especially when downloading from Play Store as during the time we`ve seen a lot of malicious apps on Play Store. I have Dr. Web on my Android and it saved me many times, preventing the install of some strange apps, so in order to enhance the security, yes we need an AV also for our phones.
 

cyberfort

Level 2
Norton is porbably the best Android Paid AV
Sophos is good
BD is good but we all know how weak/late BD sigs are, paid definetly tho
when i tested a few virus samples in my android with funnycat's virustotal , Bitdefender and AVL only detected most of the samples
 

Gangelo

Level 3
Verified
If something runs code it can be exploited... Period.

Better be safe than sorry. No regular user reads all the permissions (or doesn't care) and seemingly legitimate Google Play Store apps have been found malicious. An ad-blocker and a free lightweight av for peace of mind will not drain your resources. My OnePlus 5 performs with zero lag with adguard premium + bitdefender free installed.
 

motox781

Level 9
Verified
I would say at the moment, no. IF you have an android device running a newer Android OS, don't root, don't download pirated APKs...etc.

Everyone else that does the above, yes.
 

tim one

Level 21
Verified
Trusted
Malware Hunter
The malicious code is contained in an app which must be installed and executed with certain permissions, those that no one reads.... such app can be dedicated to performing only the malicious action and therefore not being noticed or it can be dedicated to do something else, for example related to entertainment, games etc, to hide the malicious action and avoiding suspicions.
You can install the malicious app when you're not aware of the risks so it's hard to understand what safe use means and it's easy to make mistakes.

Another problem is Android vulnerabilities: outdated devices are always at risk because they contain flaws that can be exploited remotely. Device manufacturers release updates independently, so we own our smartphone but not its security.

The root of the device is another serious problem, as it gives much power to you, but at the same time it also gives the same power to malware and intrusions.

So I think a conscious and careful use of the device can avoid the installation of an antivirus, the problem is to be objective in establishing if we are really so skilled, if not, an AV can be useful.
 
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